Strategic Rail Movement - an idea.



  • It’s always bothered me that, since a turn is a few months or longer, just how long it takes units to get to the front line. There’s a stack of units stretching all the way back to the IC, and even people buying tanks since they can get to the front faster. I have an idea for strategic rail movement that I don’t think anyone has come up with yet.

    During your non combat movement phase, land units that did not move in the combat movement phase may move an unlimited number of contiguous land territories that you or an ally control. The maximum number of units that may make a strategic rail movement in a given territory is equal to twice the IPC value of the territory.

    If you think about this, it makes a lot of sense. After all, the density of a territory’s rail network is directly related to its IPC value - Western Germany can move more units then Western Ukraine. And this still means you can’t move as many units as you might like to a specific spot on the eastern front. I don’t know whether it should be limited to territories you’ve controlled since the start of your turn or not - those units wouldn’t be able to attack next turn, unless they’re mechanized infantry and tanks, which might actually be a good thing, and would also nicely create a reserve behind the front line.

    In the Pacific, I’d rule that territories under Chinese control don’t get strategic rail movement - the Chinese actually spent the equivalent of multiple turns moving armies around. I might give chinese infantry a non combat move of 2 to compensate. Chinese territories starting under Japanese control would get strategic rail movement equal to only the IPC value of the territory - not twice it. For Africa, I’d likely use the IPC value, not twice it as well. I might also use that rule for the rest of southeast Asia, and maybe Australia.

    Finally, I’d rule that Soviet eastern territories stretching east from Moscow all the way to Soviet Far East have a strategic rail movement capacity of 4, but only as long as they have been under soviet control the entire game. This enable redeployment from the Pacific to Europe, and vice versa, but at a slow rate, and still means it takes just as long as it should for invaders to travel the endless miles across Asia.

    The same rule would also work in 1914. There, I’d allow it to be territories that you or an ally control, or that have been contested since the start of your turn. (really - on the western front they had rail lines built up to the front.) It would take place during your movement phase, so you could reinforce a territory already contested and use those unit for an offensive. This could be the strategic movement mechanic that the game needed.

    Any thoughts?


  • Customizer

    Okay, how do you determine how many units can travel by rail? Is it twice the IPC value of the territory they are starting in? OR the IPC value of the territories they are passing through?

    For example: Say it is later in the game and Germany has pushed all the way to the gates of Moscow. Germany controls Poland (2), East Poland (1), Belorussia (1) and Smolensk (1). Germany has 10 infantry in Germany. Since Germany has an IPC value of 5, 10 Infantry can move by rail all the way to Smolensk, right? Or would 6 Infantry have to stop in Poland because Poland is only worth 2 IPCs (4 units by rail)?
    OR, assuming the former, what about units in other territories that can trace a contiguous line to the destination?
    Example: In the above situation, Germany has 10 infantry in Germany, 4 in Poland, 6 in Slovakia and 2 in E. Poland. Can all of those infantry make a rail movement to Smolensk? If so, this seems like a situation that could be easily abused. I mean, you could have a massive wall of infantry seemingly appearing out of nowhere.



  • It’s determined by the territories the units are passing through, and at each end, and it for all units for the turn.

    In your example, Germany could only get 2 units to Smolensk through Belarus and Eastern Poland, and that uses up all the rail capacity for those territories. If they wanted to deploy a units in Poland somewhere else, they can only transport 2 out of or through Poland (since the move to near Moscow used up 2 of it’s 4 capacity), and none at all through Eastern Poland.

    However, and I forget to say this originally, since Bessarabia sits in the middle of the highest IPC values on the eastern front, and has no IPC value of its own, I would give it an exception, and a rail capacity of 4.
    Now if Germany did something wise and advanced through southern Russia as well, they could also transport 2 units into Beyansk, via Western Ukraine, ready to join an attack on Moscow (you’d still have had to taken those territories, though.)
    At the same time, assuming you went the Slovakia-Hungary to Romania route, you can transport 2 more units into Western Ukraine, using up Ukrane’s rail capacity. perhaps for a drive to the southeast. Or, and even better, those 2 units could be mechanized infantry or tanks, and could still make it to Moscow on their combat move next turn.

    Now, assuming Germany sent those 6 units for the eastern front from Germany, that used up 6 of Germany’s 10 rail capacity. If there are more units in Germany that the player wants to send to fight in say, France, only 4 more units could be sent west from there.

    This allows units to move up to the front quickly, and attack on the second turn after they were purchased. But at the same time, even if Germany went the 2 mechanized infantry/tanks into Western Ukraine route, they were only able to get 6 units to the front in one turn.

    Even if they had the units, and the capacity left in Germany and Slovakia-Hungery and Romania, they can’t send any units to say, Ukraine, since it’s limited by the capacity in Bessarabia, and they can’t send any more to Western Ukraine for the additional reason that it’s capacity is used up - 2 units passing through to Bryansk, and 2 units ending there.

    Hopefully that cleared things up.



  • Making exceptions (in the case of Bessarabia) adds confusion, and doesn’t make sense.

    Bessarabia is worth 0 for a reason.

    Rail movement is tough to integrate.
    Should African territories have rail? South America?
    Trying to track IPC values and which land units are moving/how many can quickly become a confusing mess.

    It can also lead to the (further) devalue of the costlier units. Such as tanks.

    I think a simpler way is using victory cities.
    Any units that begin their turn in a territory with a friendly VC receive a bonus movement during noncombat move only. Consult the following chart to determine the bonus:
    0-2IPC territories: +1
    3-5IPC territories: +2
    6+IPC territories: +3

    Could make it even simpler:
    All VC give +1 movement to friendly units during noncombat when those units began their turn in that territory

    Both are not too powerful, and both are very simple to implement.



  • That would result in a massive change in the Eastern front. Being able to move infantry/artillery from Berlin & Moscow to the front in one turn is huge.
    India would love not having to build fast movers to reinforce Yunnan. Building super-speedy units out of Kiangsu would being very beneficial to Japan as well.

    Also, the regular rail movement originally proposed is just way too complicated and easy to make mistakes with.



  • Getting free moves without paying for them seems inconsistent with all the other features of this game system. Seems like there should be some IPC expenditures in order to get movement bonuses and there should be a strict cap on the amount of units that can benefit from these investments in the territories’ transportation infrastructure.

    Maybe something like this: “No more than 2 Infantry and/or Artillery units get one extra move by paying 1 IPC each during the Purchase New Units phase.”

    I will discuss this with my gaming group, but it is unlikely that we will be using any house rules until we get more games of A&AEurope 1940 2nd edition under our belts.



  • Im at:

    All friendly VCs give +1 movement to all friendly land units during noncombat, so long as those units began their turn within said territory.

    Could limit the number of units to get the bonus to the IPC value of the territory. (This could add confusion)



  • I still think that would be unbalanced. German tanks would be 2 turns from Moscow (as opposed to 3 now), India infantry can reach Yunnan in 1 turn, etc.
    It would be interesting to play around with as a home rule, but I don’t think it will work as a regular rule.


  • Customizer

    @BraselC5048:

    It’s determined by the territories the units are passing through, and at each end, and it for all units for the turn.

    In your example, Germany could only get 2 units to Smolensk through Belarus and Eastern Poland, and that uses up all the rail capacity for those territories. If they wanted to deploy a units in Poland somewhere else, they can only transport 2 out of or through Poland (since the move to near Moscow used up 2 of it’s 4 capacity), and none at all through Eastern Poland.

    However, and I forget to say this originally, since Bessarabia sits in the middle of the highest IPC values on the eastern front, and has no IPC value of its own, I would give it an exception, and a rail capacity of 4.
    Now if Germany did something wise and advanced through southern Russia as well, they could also transport 2 units into Beyansk, via Western Ukraine, ready to join an attack on Moscow (you’d still have had to taken those territories, though.)
    At the same time, assuming you went the Slovakia-Hungary to Romania route, you can transport 2 more units into Western Ukraine, using up Ukrane’s rail capacity. perhaps for a drive to the southeast. Or, and even better, those 2 units could be mechanized infantry or tanks, and could still make it to Moscow on their combat move next turn.

    Now, assuming Germany sent those 6 units for the eastern front from Germany, that used up 6 of Germany’s 10 rail capacity. If there are more units in Germany that the player wants to send to fight in say, France, only 4 more units could be sent west from there.

    This allows units to move up to the front quickly, and attack on the second turn after they were purchased. But at the same time, even if Germany went the 2 mechanized infantry/tanks into Western Ukraine route, they were only able to get 6 units to the front in one turn.

    Even if they had the units, and the capacity left in Germany and Slovakia-Hungery and Romania, they can’t send any units to say, Ukraine, since it’s limited by the capacity in Bessarabia, and they can’t send any more to Western Ukraine for the additional reason that it’s capacity is used up - 2 units passing through to Bryansk, and 2 units ending there.

    Hopefully that cleared things up.

    Well, that clears things up. Rail movement seems like a neat idea, but now I don’t think it would make much of a difference. If Germany were moving units east for the drive on Moscow, they could never move more than 2 units because so many of the Russian territories are only worth 1 IPC. In fact, I think that would be the case with most places, except perhaps within Europe. The problem there is with the high amount of ICs in Europe territories, I don’t think the rail movement would be necessary.

    There was another idea for rail movement involving facilities that you actually had to purchase and place in territories where you wanted to move units by rail. Also, you had to purchase rail stations which were only placed where you had an IC. Units could only load at a rail station but they could unload anywhere along where you had rail markers, up to wherever the last rail marker was. Like if Germany had driven all the way to Smolensk, but only had rail markers as far as Baltic States, then your units would have to stop at Baltic States.
    There was a limit to how many units you could put on rail (can’t remember what it was) and those units could move all the way to the end of the line, regardless of the IPC value of the territories they travel through.
    I think Rail Stations cost 15 IPCs (same as air and naval bases) and rail markers were 3-5 IPCs each. Also, both stations and markers could be hit by SBR. Rail stations are inoperable with 3 damage points and 6 damage points maximum.
    Rail markers I think were maxed out at 3 damage markers. I think with 1 damage point they operate normally, 2 damage points cut capacity in half and 3 damage points inoperable.
    If you are interested in this idea, HBG sells some really nice rail markers and rail station markers.



  • Maby it would work by making it a bit more historic.

    So rail movement in europe only and unlimited as long as you own both countries at the start of your turn. This would not change the balance much it would make the factories in europe basicaly be in each country at the same time. So you could move from france to poland in 1 turn with inf or the other way around but not to east poland as it isnt europe. Also germany to poland is still 1 step but west germany to poland also is 1 step for infantry and arti. Tanks use up full movement because of loading and unloading.

    It just makes it slightly easier to move stuff around for germany inside of europe itself but does not help them much in terms of attacking russia.

    The rail system in europe was verry well developed before the war. the biggest problem hitler faced was the bad roads and rails in russia. Hard to supply troops if you cant use rails for a lot of the distance.


  • Customizer

    Also, the rails in Russia were a different gauge than the rails in Germany (or German occupied Europe). So when they conquered a lot of Russian territory, they had to change the gauge in order to use their rail system.



  • All friendly VCs give +1 movement to all friendly land units during noncombat, so long as those units began their turn within said territory.

    This is the best/simplest way. And follows already tested OOB rules (Air and naval get +1 from bases, now ground gets +1 from VCs)


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