What would happen if all IC's had unlimited production?

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    I have a copy of the original FIRST EDITION Axis and Allies rules from 1984. In these rules there are no restrictions on Industrial Complexes as far as how many units they can produce.

    Part of these rules say “Strategic placement of complexes allows you to introduce units exactly where you want them without wasting valuable time moving troops and arms across the gameboard.” (p.13)

    Before you shrink back in horror, think about the lively advantages of this old rule, and the strategic stagnation that the later IC rules have brought to the game.

    1. Historically, ships were hard to find. I just recently read about the huge amounts of Allied men and equipment that appeared in Africa without the Germans even knowing about it. Artificial harbors were built in Normandy and huge amounts of men and equipment overwhelmed the Axis. Supply chains in the Pacific were able to put swarms of men and materials where they were needed without the Japanese finding them much of the time.

    However, in this game everything is plainly seen - there is no fog of war. You can see exactly where the other guy’s ships are and sink them. We just finished a game where the Allies surrendered because there was no way they could get a toehold back on the continent after Russia fell. The Axis could see exactly where transports were being built and prepare accordingly, and any factory built would only produce 2 or three units.

    An unlimited production factory could solve that problem, and represent not so much a factory in this case as a large supply hub.

    Indeed, this was one of Larry Harris’ original ideas for his ICs. “My own rationale and ability to accept this rather unrealistic process is to NOT think of these areas as manufacturing centers but rather as staging areas and supply bases.” - Larry Harris on his site, 2009.

    2. The limitations put on ICs guarantee that every Axis and Allies game now plays out pretty much the same way. Most creativity is squashed. For example, there’s really no point in Japan ever going for America as they could not get an IC in Alaska to seriously challenge the Americans. South America gets ignored. Most islands get ignored. Whereas gameplay used to be dynamic where you had no idea where the “hotspots” of action would be, now it’s the same battles in the same areas almost every time.

    What do you think would happen if the old “unlimited production” ICs were used again? More fun? A more wide open game perhaps?

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    I honestly cannot remember the original rules, so thank you for reminding me of the IC ones.

    I am afraid I do like the new rules, especially the 2nd Edition revision which forbids making 10 units in a Tt not originally owned.
    I would change them more, ensuring Romania, Norway and Korea could not produce 10 cor Germany/Japan as they are either newly captured or not major industrial areas.
    Perhaps(horror horror!) I would see a third IC producing 5 to represent the iffy ones or go back to the rule that you can build according to IC value. But then the IC values are lower in Global as there are more Tts.

  • Customizer

    I don’t think ICs had unlimited production in Classic. They were limited by the IPC value of the territory they were in. (Germany = 10, UK = 8, E USA = 12, etc.)

    I really like your idea of a mid-level IC that could produce 5-6 units. Perhaps make it cost 18-20 IPCs? And they could only be placed on territories with an IPC value of 3 or more. In fact, perhaps the only Major ICs allowed would be the original ones. No new Major ICs can be built by any power. However, if they are captured and reduced to a Minor IC, then liberated, the original owners can upgrade them back to a Major IC for the $20.
    Another idea: When a Major IC is captured and reduced to a Minor IC, the capturing power can upgrade it to a Mid-Level IC for $10. (But of course, they can NEVER upgrade a captured IC to a Major.)
    When Mid-Level ICs are captured, they are reduced to Minor ICs. Then the capturing power can upgrade it back to a Mid-Level IC for $10 on the following round.
    Round 1: Germany puts a Mid-Level IC in Romania. A strong Russian attack captures it, reducing it to a Minor IC.
    Round 2: Germany fails to recapture Romania. Russians can now spend $10 to upgrade to a Mid-Level IC, but can only build 3 units this round.
    Round 3: Russia still has Romania. Now they can build 5 units there.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    I like that  Knp. You have probably elaborated it perfectly.
    Thank you.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer


    I don’t think ICs had unlimited production in Classic. They were limited by the IPC value of the territory they were in. (Germany = 10, UK = 8, E USA = 12, etc.)

    You are thinking of the Classic 2nd edition rules. In the first edition rules I have there is no mention whatsoever of IC restrictions.

    I believe originally this game was conceived as a GAME first of all with a WWII flavor. As the years have gone by more and more attempts at realism have been added to the game, in many instances sacrificing fun for the supposed realism. IMO the game has become choked with “special rules” which then require more “special rules”. Before long, instead of having fun, you are staring at long lists of “National Advantages” trying to figure out how much money you make.

    Everyone can play the way they want, but I’m thinking unlimited production would introduce some wild west style play, a plethora of different results,  and some much needed fun back in the experience.

  • Customizer

    Hmmm. I think I have a copy of the 1st edition rules somewhere, but not sure. I remember when Classic was all we had and they came out with the second edition rules, I started using those instead of the originals, but I think I still kept the originals.
    The main change I remember from 1st edition to 2nd edition is the elimination of the Commander-In-Chief rule which I was sad to see go. When you moved some of your units into the same territory with an ally’s units, on your mobilization phase you and your ally could decide to make you CIC and you would stack 3 markers there. Then on his next turn, he couldn’t move any of those units, but I think he could add to them. Then on your next turn, you could move the whole kit and caboodle to stage a big attack.
    I miss that rule and think it should be brought back, but others say that it was used too well by the Allies so the Axis kept getting beaten. They claim the rule was too easily abused. Seems to me if they want this game to be so “realistic”, that would be one rule that would be included. The US and UK worked together on a lot of operations. Germany and Italy worked together in North Africa.
    By the way, I do agree with you that a lot of the stuff they have done to this game to make it seem “realistic” has taken some of the fun away. I actually caught myself doing that in regards to all the new pieces being offered by HBG by trying to come up with combat values and work them into the game. Stuff like light cruisers vs. heavy cruisers vs. battle cruisers and early war vs. late war equipment and such. I had to stop and realize that I would end up dragging the game down too much.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    In the first edition rules you could also slap a factory down on “any territory you control” - not any you controlled since the beginning of your turn. So you could buy a factory anticipating to put it on the land you were about to take - boom! Instant invasion. As they were thought of more as “supply centers” IC’s did not depend on the economic value of the territory - they could even be placed on “0” value territories.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I know that the reason the factory rules changed in First edition, was beacause the American’s kept putting an unlimited factory down in Sikiang every game.  That basically did japan in instantly, and gave Russia American support instantly.

    I would oppose the move to bring this back, because invariably, I would use it to pervert the game mechanics for better win %, and it would lose it’s fun and fair appeal!

  • Also, Britain would produce a factory in Gibraltar on turn 1.  Turn three meant lots of stone tanks rolling forth!  The second edition rules worked much better.

  • Customizer

    Yeah, could you imagine the US plopping down an IC on Okinawa or Iwo Jima. Next round a huge fleet materializes out of nowhere.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer


    I know that the reason the factory rules changed in First edition, was beacause the American’s kept putting an unlimited factory down in Sikiang every game.

    But now with the new China rules you can’t put an Allied factory in chinese territory .


    Also, Britain would produce a factory in Gibraltar on turn 1.

    With spain being neutral, how would your tanks get through to Europe?


    Yeah, could you imagine the US plopping down an IC on Okinawa or Iwo Jima. Next round a huge fleet materializes out of nowhere.

    Your assuming the Japanese fleet will allow the US navy to get close enough to take one of those islands. It wouldn’t happen early game with Japan’s fleet.

    Keep in mind in the old rules there was also unlimited factory damage. A US factory too close would allow the Axis to bomb the bejeebers out of it. If you coudn’t pay the amount of damage done, you were required to surrender every IPC you had. As it is now, the USA hardly never gets bombed - its too hard to get to them. There were no cap fighters before, either.

    I suppose there have been too many rules changes to go back, but I do miss some of the random results and freedom of the classic early rules. Thanks for your input - I need this forum at times to put some of my ideas back on earth. lol

  • Britain would simply move into Spain and pay the 3 IPC fee.

  • I previously posted this idea under house rules on Larry’s website.  Below is an edited version:

    I’ve been toying with the idea of house rules for factories for quite a while. I like the idea of having major and minor factories. But I think their production capacity should be somehow tied to the economic value of the territory in which they are located. Britain being theoretically capable of cranking out 10 battleships in India seems a bit odd to me. Or, for that matter, Australia cranking out 3 (or any, if you are looking at historical accuracy). So here goes:

    Major IC: Instead of producing 10 units of any kind, the factory can produce 10 times the printed economic value of its territory. For instance, if the Major IC in Britain is undamaged, it can produce up to 60 IPCs worth of units per turn. That’s 10 tanks, or 20 infantry, or 6 fighters. Western Germany can produce 50.

    Minor IC: Can produce 6 times the printed value of the territory.  Minor ICs can be built in any territory with a printed value of at least 1.

    (Note: I’m also considering reducing the Major IC in India to a Minor IC, but adding another Minor IC to West India. This would prevent battleships and carriers from being produced there, which seems realistic to me. But if the British player wants to spend the money on upgrading it, that would also seem realistic, since it’s a major investment. Australia would need two Minor ICs in Queensland plus New South Wales instead of 1.)

    Now this obviously necessitates changes to strategic bombing and repairs. So each point of bomb damage reduces the multiplier by one. Example: If the factory in Western Germany takes 4 points of damage, it can only produce 6 times the value, or 30 IPCs worth of units. Repairs restore the multiplier at a rate of 1 times the economic value per IPC spent on repairs.

    Now, what I’m wondering is if this is going to play havoc with game balance. It will almost certainly mean some players will have to adjust their favorite strategies. No more cranking out 3 bombers per turn in South Africa, for instance.

    I figure this probably won’t make much difference for the US player. Yes, he can theoretically crank out 320 IPCs worth of units between the East Coast and Central US. But I figure that under the current rules he can basically spend every dime he’s likely to get there anyway.

    Also, since minor ICs can be built in territories with a printed value of 1, Russia can now build factories in the Urals or the Far East.  Not very efficient maybe, but 2 infantry or 1 tank per turn is better than nothing.

  • Customizer

    I don’t think the game has ever realistically depicted production.  The territory values simply reflect what they produce in manpower and material or at least that’s what it used to mean. So theoretically a nation’s IPC resources could be directed to any industrial center they own.

    A myth or legend seems to have been created by the artwork on the old paper IPC with the caption reading “X million production hours” this was more art than anything based on fact. However it has been canonized by the powers that be in subsequent versions of the game as questions or problems have arisen within the game.

    IMO global has done a better job with production simulation than previous versions. Thats not to say I love it or that it’s perfect but the lesser of evils.

    DK does have some good points based on the theory of production in A&A. I think what would make sense is to limit factories. To say 3 units per factory and limit the number of factories per territory to the territory value.

    In dealing with SB I think factories should be destroyed. Historically that’s just what strategic bombing did was destroy factories.

    I’m not suggesting this as a game-wide change but as a house rule for private parties to use. I don’t even bother nor do I think LH or any big player in the world of A&A pays a significant amount of attention to our posts. I simply state this preemptively to negate arguments suggesting that I think this should be a change by LH or tripleA and/or why the said parties did/didnt make/made said changes/rules. LOL.

    I would love to see some changes in the game to make convoy raiding and SBR play a more significant role as they did in the real WWII.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    Four of us just finished three rounds using these hybrid IC rules:

    1. Every IC is a major IC/supply center, costing 15 IPCs and producing up to ten units each.
    2. ICs can be damaged up to 20 IPCs. (use chips to show damage)
    3. ICs can be placed in ANY land territory you have controlled since the beginning of your turn with a value of at least one.

    So far the game has refreshingly opened up with new areas of the map being contested that were previously not used. We have also found that just because you CAN put ten things out in some underdeveloped place, it doesn’t mean that that is what will happen, as there are usually demands for units on more than one front when placing them.

  • Customizer

    I think it’s really cool DK some of the rules you’ve come up with.
    @ knp, I too have been trying to work in lot of the HBG units. I don’t post a lot of them because I have to work on some stuff to implement everything I want to get on the board. I don’t shy away from extra hits or dice with units even range and special abilities help pull it together.

    I know that comes off as crazy but if ALL the players have access to the units it doesn’t really hurt balance. I some times use national advantages to balance the waring powers. The other option is allow units to only be built when certain events or territories are held.  An example is the ME 262  I want to make it powerful but plan for it to have a very short range of 2-3 spaces. Conversely an early war fighter like the would be shorter ranged but cost less.

    Great stuff you guys!

  • if i remember correctly you only had unlimited production from an IC if you owned the thing at the start of the game. other wise it was limited to the value of the tt. I could be wrong.

  • Customizer

    I’d have to dig out my rule book but I believe it was any original factory. I could be wrong.

  • I believe 1st edition classic it was any original IC but in 2nd it was only the ones you owned at the start of the game. again I could be wrong, I’ve read so many expansion rules for classic it could be screwing me up.

  • I think limited production adds to the game.
    Makes you think a lot harder about IC placement and transport use.
    Widens the gap between skill levels.

  • Customizer


    ––Unlimited Production from any factory would get rid of the “challenge” of producing a war-winning strategy.

    ––IMHO So many of the new home rules that people come up with are simply to “make it easier” for them or to carry out their favorite strategy without it impacting the rest of their game. Everything is a CHOICE to make, a CHANCE to take in order to impose your will on your enemy.
    ----IMHO Strategic thought should be the primary importance of a good player. The decisions that he’s forced to take are what makes up the “challenge” of this great game. Making it easier, or “dumbing it down” would be a bakward step!

    “Tall Paul”

  • Customizer

    I actually think the way G40SE has done factories and IPCs is probably the best set up so far. That said I understand DK and other people’s penchant for experimenting with the game.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer


    ––Unlimited Production from any factory would get rid of the “challenge” of producing a war-winning strategy.

    I don’t see this at all - being able to put large production (10 unit) factory/supply centers on any territory worth at least 1 IPC actually would increase the challenge - at the start of each game you would have no idea where your opponent will build a new strong point. As it is now the same strong points appear at the same places every game, due to the limitations put on the players by the “improved” rules. These rules result in pretty much the same strategies every time, because the factories are in the same economic areas every time.


    The decisions that he’s forced to take are what makes up the “challenge” of this great game.

    That is just the problem for me. Being forced to make decisions because of game constricting rules. As a player whose goal is to have fun, do I want to have MORE freedom as a commander to do what I want or LESS?

    In our current running game as the British I’ve built a factory/supply center in Persia which produces up to 10 units per turn. From this territory I can reinforce the Russians if I want. I can also put ships into the Persian Gulf. I can defend both Cairo and Calcutta. This presents a new and challenging threat to the Axis - they will have to come up with something new somewhere to counter that. It’s DIFFERENT than last game - a new challenge is created - the situation just changed. Overly restrictive placement rules do not offer more opportunity for strategic thought - they actually trap all creative thought and confine it to certain pre-determined areas that are fought for over and over again.

  • These rules result in pretty much the same strategies every time, because the factories are in the same economic areas every time.

    How often do you play G40?

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    My game is an Ann edition/AA1942 hybrid. I only play G40 at a friends place or online. There are many versions of the game and you can’t very well make sweeping statements for all of them, I realize. Removing some of the IC restrictions has worked for us.

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