An alternative to neutral blocks



  • The Diplomat Token

    All rules for strict neutrals remain in place, however, the first power to successfully attack and control a strict neutral territory will automatically receive 1 diplomat token. This token may immediately be placed on a strict neutral which will force that territory to remain a strict neutral while all others are turned pro-opponent. This territory will be the last strict neutral territory on the board and may be attacked by the opposing side, however, the side that owns the diplomat token may never attack this last strict neutral territory while the diplomat token occupies it.

    What do you think? should 2 tokens be awarded?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Could you explain what this is intended to accomplish?  I’m trying to figure out the rationale for this idea, but I come up blank.



  • I like it, there was once a house rule version of AAR that included something similar.

    It involved rolling dice for each neutral after each turn to see if said neutral would join one side or the other.
    a dice roll of 6 (same to technology) is a successful roll and that neutral moves one spot closer to joining you
    There was a progression chart, and not all powers got the same dice.
    A power could also purchase more dice each turn.

    Something like,
    1- allied
    2- pro allied
    3-4 strict neutral
    5 pro axis
    6 axis

    This would involve pen and paper to keep track of where each neutral is.
    I played many games using them back in the day, and loved them

    A pro allied or pro axis neutral can be brought back the other way (if its not activated before the next succesfull roll)
    once it hits 1 or 6, the territory immediately activates



  • @CWO:

    Could you explain what this is intended to accomplish?  I’m trying to figure out the rationale for this idea, but I come up blank.

    The point would be to slightly reduce the punishment for attack strict neutrals.
    And therefore maybe it will happen more often.



  • @Uncrustable:

    @CWO:

    Could you explain what this is intended to accomplish? I’m trying to figure out the rationale for this idea, but I come up blank.

    The point would be to slightly reduce the punishment for attack strict neutrals.
    And therefore maybe it will happen more often.

    Correct… the most powerful strict neutrals on the board are Spain, Turkey, and Sweden.

    The Allies usually avoid attacking Spain (which would be excellent position for them) because of the consequences of Sweden and Turkey becoming walk ons for the Axis.

    The Axis usually avoid attacking Turkey (which would be excellent position for them) because of the consequences of Spain becoming a walk on for the Allies, and Germany losing their $5 National Objective due to a Pro-Allied Sweden.

    1 free token to neutralize at least one of these powerful strict neutrals may be the incentive needed to attack first and gain good position, while still compensating the opposing side.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Uncrustable:

    The point would be to slightly reduce the punishment for attack strict neutrals. And therefore maybe it will happen more often.

    Ah.  I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I’ve never felt that it was realistic to have all the strict neutrals of the planet join side Y if side X attacks just a single neutral country.  I can understand why Larry probably created this rule (to strongly discourage attacks on neutrals without flat-out prohibiting it in the rules), but I think Larry’s rule is just as arbitrary as a straight prohibition would have been.  On the other hand, if the goal of the proposed house rule is to lessen the penalty for attacking strict neutrals, I don’t think it’s much of a threat reduction to say that the attacker will end up at war with just 95% of the neutrals instead of 100% of them.

    I think a more highly motivating (and more realistic) way to achieve the “maybe it will happen more often” aim would be to divide the strict neutrals into three blocks:

    Group L: the ones which the game defines as strict neutrals but which had Allied sympathies (and which in some cases covertly helped the Allies)

    Group X: the ones which the game defines as strict neutrals but which had Axis sympathies (and which in some cases covertly helped the Axis)

    Group N: the ones which were really strict neutrals

    An Allied attack on a Group-X nation would bring the other group-X nations into the war on the Axis side.  An Axis attack on a Group-L nation would bring the other group-L nations into the war on the Allied side.  And an attack by anybody against a Group-N nation would bring the other Group-N nations into the war on the opposite side of the attacking country.

    On the Global map, Larry’s so-called “strict neutrals” are in fact negatively defined: they’re all the non-player countries which the map doesn’t define as pro-Allied or pro-Axis.  So how does the map define who’s pro-Allied and pro-Axis?  The pro-Allied countries are Brazil (which joined the war on the Allied side in 1942, as I recall), Eire (a Commonwealth Dominion), Yugoslavia and Greece (invaded by Germany in 1941), and the three sections of Persia (invaded by Britain and Russia in 1941 because the Shah was politically suspect in his allegiances).  The pro-Axis countries are Bulgaria (joined the Tripartite Pact in 1941), Finland (co-belligerent against the USSR when Germany invaded in 1941) and Iraq (experienced a brief-pro-Axis coup in 1941 and was invaded by Britain as a result).

    In other words, only in the most clear-cut cases does the map define a country as pro-Allied and pro-Axis.  It gives no indication that (for example), Mongolia was a Soviet client state, or that Spain was under fascist rule.  I once drew up (for my own use) a list of which “neutral” countries I considered to be in Group L, Group X and Group N, and I recall that it was a tricky exercise because the position of some countries (like Sweden) was quite murky.  So I can understand why Larry didn’t venture there: the classification of the non-obvious neutral countries is highly open to interpretation.  But something along those lines could be done in a set of house rules.



  • I don’t think it’s much of a threat reduction to say that the attacker will end up at war with just 95% of the neutrals instead of 100% of them.

    I disagree with this, here is the reason (provided by Young Grasshopper,

    …the most powerful strict neutrals on the board are Spain, Turkey, and Sweden.

    The Allies usually avoid attacking Spain (which would be excellent position for them) because of the consequences of Sweden and Turkey becoming walk ons for the Axis.

    The Axis usually avoid attacking Turkey (which would be excellent position for them) because of the consequences of Spain becoming a walk on for the Allies, and Germany losing their $5 National Objective due to a Pro-Allied Sweden.

    1 free token to neutralize at least one of these powerful strict neutrals may be the incentive needed to attack first and gain good position, while still compensating the opposing side.

    This introduces the strategy of attacking 2 of 3 of these neutrals on your turn while using your token on the third. (To point out the obvious.



  • @Uncrustable:

    I don’t think it’s much of a threat reduction to say that the attacker will end up at war with just 95% of the neutrals instead of 100% of them.

    I disagree with this, here is the reason (provided by Young Grasshopper,

    …the most powerful strict neutrals on the board are Spain, Turkey, and Sweden.

    The Allies usually avoid attacking Spain (which would be excellent position for them) because of the consequences of Sweden and Turkey becoming walk ons for the Axis.

    The Axis usually avoid attacking Turkey (which would be excellent position for them) because of the consequences of Spain becoming a walk on for the Allies, and Germany losing their $5 National Objective due to a Pro-Allied Sweden.

    1 free token to neutralize at least one of these powerful strict neutrals may be the incentive needed to attack first and gain good position, while still compensating the opposing side.

    This introduces the strategy of attacking 2 of 3 of these neutrals on your turn while using your token on the third. (To point out the obvious.

    Exactly… our group of players would never attempt to attack strict neutrals unless they were sure they could successfully control 2 within the same game round (which was always a rare opportunity). Thats why I’m convinced that allowing 1 territory to stay neutralized will at least promote the strategy of attacking strict neutrals.



  • They wouldn’t necessarily be “at war” with 95% of all strict neutrals. The opposition would need to walk on them to collect the standing army and the IPCs, and most strict neutrals are unreachable for each side.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Spain and Turkey should get some special treatment to reflect their on-the-fence statuses:

    Spain (& colonies) becomes pro-Axis if Axis controls London or Moscow (enough for them to jump on the axis bandwagon, opens floodgates to Gibraltar).

    Turkey becomes pro-Axis if Axis controls Moscow (anti-comintern pact).

    Turkey becomes pro-Western Allies (anyone but USSR) if Western Allies control Rome, Greece, Syria & Iraq.

    Granted these bonuses amount to icing for the winning bloc’s cake, but add some historical flavor. If Germany pulls off Sea Lion they can walk into Spain and then coordinate attacks on Sweden and Turkey to clean up the other big neutrals.



  • Veers I don’t know if the hurdles should be set that high. The game is already downward swing at that point.

    I would be ok with Spain becoming Pro-Axis (ONLY DURING AXIS TURNS) if Germany and Italy satisfy the conditions of 4 national objectives (cumulatively)

    So if the war is going well for them, then Spain is more likely to join the axis

    Turkey would be under a similar rule
    Becomes Pro-Axis  (ONLY DURING AXIS TURNS) if Germany and Italy satisfy the conditions of 4 national objectives (cumulatively) AND the Allies control none of the territories adjacent to Turkey

    The hurdle for Sweden would be higher
    Becomes Pro-Axis  (ONLY DURING AXIS TURNS) if Germany and Italy satisfy the conditions of 5 national objectives (cumulatively) and the European axis controls Finland, Norway and at least 10 Soviet Territories


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    That’s fair, would also include the caveat for Spain that Germany must be at war with the Soviet Union (since they can get a peacetime NO to start with).

    Liberia should also be US-friendly, not that it would ever play a role in the game.


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