Here is an explanation and play test analysis of all the house rules being applied at the Cliffside Bunker…
HOUSE RULE #1: In the event of a 6 player game, nations will be divided like so…
- United Kingdom / France
- United States / ANZAC
- Soviet Union / China
REASON FOR THE RULE: In 6 player group games,this allows allied players to better coordinate multi national forces using the minor allied powers closest to them.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: Very little resistance from group players, it just makes sense to make the decisions for the minor allied powers that directly effect the major allied power you are playing
HOUSE RULE #2: The initial setup has been modified to include a British fighter in Ontario.
REASON FOR THE RULE: This is to address the highly popular demand to place more allied units in the initial setup, however, we are not convinced that it is the only solution to balance the game. We are also against placing a unit in a location that interferes with the opening strategies of an Axis power.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: One player used it to take out the German sub left off New Brunswick UK1. In another games, the UK player flew it to London which arrived UK3.
HOUSE RULE #3: Anytime a nation purchases 1 or more research dice during the Research & Development phase, they will receive 1 free roll.
REASON FOR THE RULE: Players will at least attempt research now where as before they never did. We kept the original technologies so that players wouldn’t complain if a newly invented tech entered the game and contributed in their defeat.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: Some American players are using their extra war bond income to take advantage of this new research house rule. The important aspect about this house rule is, there are now attempts to research, but not all the time as originally feared… great balance.
HOUSE RULE #4: Two National Objectives that were previously dropped during the Alpha projects have now been reinstated:
5 IPCs for United Kingdom if there are no German submarines on the Europe map with the exception of the Baltic Sea (113, 114, 115), the Black Sea (100), and the Caspian Sea.
5 IPCs for Germany if they control London.
One National Objective that has never existed has also been added:
- 5 IPCs for Japan if they control all original Chinese territories
REASON FOR THE RULE: We unanimously feel that Larry Harris dropped these national objectives during the Alpha projects in an attempt to make Sea Lion a less desirable strategy. However, in doing so he took away creative play in the Atlantic and weakened the UKs NO income. dropping the German NO also went against the very term “national objective” by not rewarding Germany when they control London. We also feel that Japan doesn’t get properly rewarded in National Objectives if they are dominating the mainland.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: In both games the UK eventually got their NO, but it was late in the game. The extra $5 for London has not enough to convince the German players to attempt Sealion, but in one game which Germany took London, everyone felt that the extra $5 was deserved… $5 for chinese territories has not influenced Japan’s strategies, however, it’s there if Japan goes for, and survives the China meat grinder.
HOUSE RULE #5: The Soviet Union begins the game with one Russian winter token which they may activate at the beginning of any game round they choose. A Russian winter will last for an entire round during which all units on originally controlled Russian territories may not move, and any units outside originally controlled Russian territories may not enter. Industrial Complexes remain operational and may continue to produce units, however, air and naval bases are unoperational for all intensive purposes.
REASON FOR THE RULE: The strength of Japan has been widely demonstrated when certain strategies are deployed which makes the Kamikaze tokens an over powering aspect. Therefore, we are giving Russia a game mechanic token that best reflects the powerful advantage they had in the war. Also, it shouldn’t tip the scales in terms of game play because it only slows a German advance for 1 round, and besides… it makes Russia a little more fun to play.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: Russian winter is a very talked about house rule among players with most conversations centered around if there was an actual strategy for when to use it. They also talked about things like the importance of representing the Russia winter advantage, the ways it could be very effective during a game, and the ways in could be very ineffective during a game. an important aspect about the rule is that there is only one time a Russian winter could be activated, and that’s at the beginning of a game round. Once Germany begins their turn, Russian winter will have to wait until the next round and the timing of it had great relevance. The rule does seem to be more powerful than it actually is, which gives the Russian players a false sense of security.
HOUSE RULE #6: Once America enters the war, they immediately obtain the war bonds technology for free.
REASON FOR THE RULE: This is the most popular method among our group to infuse the allies with an historically accurate means of income. It’s also an unpredictable amount that is left to the dice which we believe adds to the overall intrigue of the game. It may also convince Japan not to attack America early, although that is highly unlikely.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: Some players are using the extra income to take advantage of the new research house rule. The US players have been averaging about $18 in extra income over 7-9 round games.
HOUSE RULE #7: Only Strategic Bombers that take off from an airbase will receive the +2 damage bonus when bombing industrial complexes.
REASON FOR THE RULE: During the Alpha projects, in order to encourage strategic bombing, Larry Harris and his team changed the intercepter defense value from 2 to 1. However, they didn’t modify the once equalizing +2 damage bonus which makes bombing raids very powerful in the face of weaker interceptors.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: In all games, bombing raids were conducted by bombers leaving from a base. It is still unclear if the rule will deter a player from bombing without the +2 bonus. None the less, it has been accepted by our group as a rule that makes perfect sense.
HOUSE RULE #8: Damaged Battleships may not bombard during Amphibious assaults.
REASON FOR THE RULE: The decision not to send damaged battleships back to naval bases for repairs should have consequences.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: There has not been an opportunity to bombard with a damaged Battleship in our games, so the restriction has yet to see resistance.
HOUSE RULE #9: A Cruiser may attack @4 when paired with a Battleship.
REASON FOR THE RULE: An attempt to improve Cruisers to justify their cost and to encourage players to purchase them more.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: This modification is the latest addition to our house rules and has not yet been tested.
HOUSE RULE #10: All neutral rules remain in place, however, strict neutral territories are now divided into 3 separate neutral blocks. The 3 neutral blocks are South America, Mongolia, and the rest of the board, therefore, an attack in one neutral territory block will no longer effect the strict neutral territories in other blocks.
REASON FOR THE RULE: This modification actually favors the Axis a lot more that the Allies because Germany can now attack Turkey without handing South America to the Allies, and Japan can attack Mongolia without giving Spain to the Americans. It is an attempt to bring the strict neutral territories into play without overpowering or changing overall game strategies.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: No Axis players have attempted to attack strict neutrals, however, the Axis players did plan to take Turkey, but their attempts to first take the middle east failed. The Allies have been attacking Spain often in recent games, however, this strategy has not been born from this house rule.
HOUSE RULE #11: There are now 3 different ways to win the game: 1. Using the victory conditions stated in the A&A Global rule book, or… 2. The first side to hold a combined 12 victory cities at the end of any game round while controlling all original capitals, or… 3. When the opposing side makes a majority decision to unconditionally surrender any time after round 5 begins.
REASON FOR THE RULE: This is to avoid players from arguing about who has won the game, while minimizing the number of draws. Also prevents players from quitting to early into a game.
PLAY TEST ANALYSIS: Still getting many draws, but a couple of games have been won using the 12 VC condition. The key to that rule is Paris, the Allies can’t win without it even if they have 13 Victory Cities at the end of round 1.