Well, here is my 2 cents worth:
I have the second edition of Europe 40 and Pacific 40 and we pretty much use the standard OOB setup. If you use Alpha 3 setup for the first edition, I think that is the same. The reason for all the Alpha setups was because the OOB setup from first edition was found to be very unbalanced. So came the Alphas. Each Alpha setup involved certain tweaks to the game to try and balance it out, or in other words give a somewhat equal chance at victory for the Axis and the Allies. There were several Alphas:
Alpha, Alpha +, Alpha +1, Alpha +2, Alpha +3.
I think they finally settled on Alpha +3 and that became the setup for the second edition.
We do use one modification from this setup – Airbases on Gibraltar and Malta. Those were introduced in Alpha +2 but removed in Alpha +3.
NATIONAL OBJECTIVES AND POLITICAL SITUATION
No change in the Political Situation. We have added a number of National Objectives:
Germany : + 5 IPCs per turn when an Axis power controls London. (If controlling London and getting the Brits off their back isn’t a German national objective, I don’t know what is)
Russia : + 2 IPCs for each victory city still controlled by the Soviet Union (Except for the Archangel NO, all of Russia’s NOs only apply if they are going offensive against Germany. If Germany is on the offensive against Russia, they will get nothing. Felt it was too harsh on the Russians, especially since the Archangel NO is easily blocked by Germany.)
Russia : + 3 IPCs for each Axis or pro-Axis neutral territory and each pro-Allied or Strict neutral territory that was first occupied by the Axis controlled by the Soviet Union within continental Europe and Scandanavia. (This prevents the nonsense move of Russian units going into Africa and getting 3 IPCs for Ethiopia or Italian Somaliland. Also no Russian infantry hopping on a British transport and taking Sicily or Sardinia. NOs should be somewhat historical.)
Russia : + 3 IPCs for Soviet control of Korea. (Just a little incentive for Russia to act against Japan)
United Kingdom : We removed the NO of 5 IPCs for control of all original territories on the Europe board. (This NO is next to impossible to achieve after round 2) Instead, we added the following for England.
- 5 IPCs for no German submarines in the Atlantic or Mediterranean, excluding sea zones 113, 114, 115 and 100. (the German U-Boat threat was a dire concern for England.)
- 3 IPCs for UK control of ALL Canadian territories.
- 3 IPCs for UK control of Gibraltar, Malta, Egypt and Trans-Jordan.
- 3 IPCs for Allied control of Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland and no Axis units in any African territory south of the Sahara and Egypt.
- 3 IPCs for Allied control of Eastern Persia, Persia, NW Persia and Iraq.
United States : We removed the +10 IPCs for control of Western US, Central US and Eastern US. (It’s almost impossible to deny that NO, too easy money for the US. If Axis manage to deny that NO, the game is pretty much in the bag anyway.) We changed it to the following:
- 1 IPC for US control of each of the following territories: Midway, Wake Island, Guam, Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands, Palau Island, Marianas Island, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Formosa. (This still gives the US the option of getting that +10 IPCs and encourages some of the island battles)
Japan : We altered the NO + 5 IPCs for Axis control of Midway, Wake Island, Guam, Gilbert Islands and Solomon Islands. Now it reads like this:
- 1 IPC for Axis control of each of the following territories: Midway, Wake Island, Guam, Gilbert Islands and Solomon Islands. (This way it isn’t so impossible for Japan to get something out of this particular NO.)
Also, we added the following:
- 5 IPCs for Japanese control of ALL the following territories: Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands, Palau Islands, Marianas Islands, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Formosa. (This was also to encourage island battles with the US)
- 5 IPCs for Axis control of ALL Chinese territories. (The subjugation of China was a BIG Japanese goal)
- 5 IPCs ONE TIME for destruction of Chinese Flying Tigers fighter. (The Flying Tigers were a thorn in the side of Japan so eliminating them would be a bonus. Since it is a one time bonus and relatively small, it isn’t worth Japan risking a lot of resources to accomplish. Also, it’s up to China to protect their only fighter.)
We have a number of house rules that we experiment with from time to time, but there are four that we use in every game:
HEAVY BOMBERS – If anyone gets this tech, they roll two dice and keep BOTH results, for combat and SBRs.
SUBS vs. DESTROYERS – When we have a naval battle involving subs on one side and destroyers on the other, submarines can submerge AFTER the first round of combat if they survive. Destroyers still cancel the surprise strike and allow aircraft to hit subs in combat.
MECHANIZED INFANTRY – We allow Mechanized Infantry units to blitz unoccupied enemy controlled territories on their own, without having to be paired with a tank.
MID-LEVEL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEXES – These are factories in between Major and Minor ICs. They can produce 5 units per turn. They cost 20 IPCs and must be build on a territory worth 3 IPCs or more. A minor IC can be upgraded to a Mid-Level IC for 10 IPCs, provided it is in a territory worth 3 IPCs or more. There are NO NEW Major ICs allowed, only the original Major ICs on the board at the start of the game (and the 3 US Major ICs that get converted from Minors upon US entry into the war) are allowed. When a Major is captured, as per rules it is reduced to a Minor IC. The capturing power can upgrade that IC to a Mid-Level if he/she so chooses. If the original owner liberates that territory, he/she can upgrade the IC to a Major IC. That is the only way to get a Major IC after the game has started. If a Mid-Level IC is captured, it is also reduced to a Minor IC and can be upgraded back to a Mid-Level by the capturing power on his/her next turn.
We play our games in this manner because it’s just the way it suits us. Over the years and over many games we have tried out subtle variations and tinkered with different house rules and the above version is just what seems best suited for us.
I can’t really give a good answer on average game time. We meet at my house and I have a room where I can keep the game setup all the time. We usually get together to play on my nights off from work, which are Monday and Tuesday nights. We will usually set it up and play for roughly 5-6 hours then call it a day, play another 5-6 hours the next day. If the game isn’t finished, we might not get back to it until the following weekend. Also, we play very relaxed. We will talk about stuff, the TV is usually on and we just take our time.
I can tell you usually setup and the first 2 rounds take up the first day. The second day we will probably get 3-4 more rounds played. If the game isn’t finished, we will pick up where we left off next week. Most games for us last around 8-10 rounds or so. I guess I could say a full game of Global 40 takes us roughly 18 hours, but remember, that is at a very relaxed pace and we are not always concentrating right on the game. We feel like that would take the fun out of it if we all pressured everyone to hurry up and do their turns. It’s just our way.
As for win percentages, I would say probably the Axis come out a little ahead, roughly 60-40. It used to be a lot higher for the Axis, but after a number of tweaks to our own games and some of our players gaining experience, things have evened out some. A big part is now we all take turns with different countries so nobody is left always playing either Axis or Allies. That really helps make you think things differently.
Well, I hope this helps you. Good luck with your gaming experience.