Development of Alternate Version of Rules


  • I’ve been playing Axis & Allies for over 20 years. When my brother got the Global 1939 map we thought it was absolutely amazing (there are only a few problems with it which we had to fix). When the rules came out we decided to develop a D6 version and have continued to do so since because we liked the D6 version and we liked much of what Larry Harris has developed already. But we had to make some changes too because we thought the basic combat rules of Axis & Allies could be improved to make the game more historically realistic. After extensive research on how combat actually occurred in WW2, we decided to introduce some major changes or adjustments to the combat rules and other rules.

    For the set-up we started doing research about what nations actually had in 1939 and made some adjustments based on training, logistics and numbers of available troops to be mobilized. We didn’t change everything.

    We had to make a major overhaul to Turn Order and what each round of play looked like. War is fluid and complex, and we wanted to try to simulate that. So, each turn has a Strategic Combat Movement/Combat phase and a Tactical Combat Movement/Combat phase, and every round of play will be different because you roll initiative for those phases. In Strategic Combat a player can do missions like Strategic Bombing Raids, Strategic Shelling, Espionage and Combat Air Patrol. In the Tactical Combat Phase players can do any number of combat operations that we see in Axis & Allies (amphibious, land combat, naval-air combat, airborne ops, etc). But each phase has a specific turn order decided by an Initiative Roll. Although a player may go first during Strategic Combat, he/she may go fourth for Tactical Combat. And each round of play will be different - you’ll never ‘play’ the same game twice. Ever. The winner of initiative can decide when in the sequence he/she wants to go in the turn order. In the first round of play, we do give Germany and the Axis Minors (we call them Fascist Minors) the initiative during Tactical Combat. In the game we’re playing now, my brother elected to go last on the first turn to start WW2. The Allies couldn’t react to anything he did (which they didn’t).

    We also decided to add realism by saying that each turn is one month of actual time, and the game begins in September 1939. This certainly affects how naval and air units move on the board, especially during non-combat movement. We increased naval and air unit movement points during non-combat movement significantly. For example, I was studying how long it took ANZAC troops to travel to Egypt during the early stages of WW2. It took about 18 days, and they stopped in Ceylon on their way. The way the game is set up, that’s impossible, so we had to increase movement during non-combat movement (for combat movement we did not change much, because combat operations take planning and moving logistics in place in order to go into combat). We also added modifiers to Strategic and Tactical initiative. Non-belligerent nations always go last during the turn order. Industrial capacity matters on who goes first.

    One of the biggest changes is Tactical Combat. We introduced ‘steps’ to ground units. Ground units have 2 steps: full strength and damaged before they’re destroyed. We bought these little red 1/8" dots and placed them on ground units (and ships that can take more than one hit) when they were damaged. Their attack and defense are degraded. Land combat consists of three phases: Initial Assault, Attrition and Breakthrough, all including an Air Combat Phase. Attrition and Breakthrough require initiative rolls, which allow a player to take the Offensive Posture or the Defensive Posture. Offensive Posture means that your forces are not ‘fixed’ on the battlefield, which means you can attack or retreat. We looked for real world examples in World War 2 and put them in the game. For example, in Operation Market Garden, the Allies were initially in the Offensive Posture (Initial Assault) but soon found themselves in the Defensive Posture during the Attrition phase (especially the British in Arnhem itself) and during Breakthrough, they got the initiative again and retreated out of Holland. That’s what we’ve tried to simulate in the game. Battles are fluid and complex and players have to make good tactical decisions in order to win or survive. We’ve also introduced Forward Supply Bases to reconstitute damaged units.

    Additional rules include Retreating, Surrender and Terrain (we added mountain, jungle/forest and city terrain by simply placing a 1/4" colored dot on the map). We changed some National Objectives too. We added some Weapons Development as well and railroads. Railroads are especially important for Russia. During WW2, Russia moved thousands of troops to their fight with Germany from the east - and they did it quickly. Railroads allow that. Otherwise, with a movement of 1 it would take forever, and that is not actually what happened in WW2 at all!

    These are but a few of the rules. If you have any comments, questions or show any interest, perhaps we can actually put it down in a written form.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    Wow, that is incredible the amount of thought you have put into the game.

    I would very much like to see these rules in written form. Since, HBG is producing so many units, don’t you think a D12 is inevitable, or do just play with standard OOB units?

    If I used your rules, could it be easy for me to convert to D12 or not?

    I like your rules. I can tell you have done a lot of research, to go in to that amount of depth for each turn.

    I like the idea of rolling for initiative, because your right, you will never have the same game.

    Introducing the rail system in the game is so cool and historically accurate.

    Great job and ideas to improve the game! 😄


  • I love your Ideas, I have been trying to develop my own rule set with alot of similar features you have. I wanted something just a little more historical and for the pacific something based on carrier combat alot more. So I added in search roles and interception rolls for fleets. Then realize that do do exactly what I wanted I needed to make a new map. Well good luck with your game. Hope it goes well would like to see a battle reports and some more rule summaries on your game.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Dalinore:

    I love your Ideas, I have been trying to develop my own rule set with alot of similar features you have. I wanted something just a little more historical and for the pacific something based on carrier combat alot more. So I added in search roles and interception rolls for fleets. Then realize that do do exactly what I wanted I needed to make a new map. Well good luck with your game. Hope it goes well would like to see a battle reports and some more rule summaries on your game.

    I like there to be more carrier combat as well. I’m hoping the new Midway boxed game from HBG will be good. The kick starter for it is this Fall. 🙂


  • The balance between realism and playability is always a factor in Axis and Allies. Bud T and I think we have struck a good balance.

    The best part of the new system being developed is that due to strategic and tactical initiative, you will never play the same game twice. There will never be static “moves” that previous masters have developed because the game will change due to turn order and the variables in dice-rolling. This is an advantage to players of all levels of mastery. Sure, the set-up for each game is generally the same but outcomes will always be different.

    Realism is key. Terrain matters. Sometimes units surrender. Generals in the field make a difference. Weather is a factor. Industrial complexes can be destroyed.

    We are playtesting now and should have more updates soon.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Mike:

    The balance between realism and playability is always a factor in Axis and Allies. Bud T and I think we have struck a good balance.

    The best part of the new system being developed is that due to strategic and tactical initiative, you will never play the same game twice. There will never be static “moves” that previous masters have developed because the game will change due to turn order and the variables in dice-rolling. This is an advantage to players of all levels of mastery. Sure, the set-up for each game is generally the same but outcomes will always be different.

    Realism is key. Terrain matters. Sometimes units surrender. Generals in the field make a difference. Weather is a factor. Industrial complexes can be destroyed.

    We are playtesting now and should have more updates soon.

    I agree the more realistic, the better. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to both your updates. 😄


  • JB, we’re using somewhat standard units (Infantry, Paratrooper, Motorized Infantry, Tank, Heavy Tank, Artillery, Self-Propelled Artillery, AA Guns and Partisans - for ground units). We’re not going to get into ‘elite’ units because this game is a strategic level game, and one infantry guy on the board represents approximately 20,000-50,000 actual troops - and realistically not all those troops could be elite - so it balances out. The scale of the game makes ‘elite’ units less relevant. You probably could add units to the game though without a problem.

    You could use D12, which gives you ways to add differences between units. But we found other ways to add variables to combat rolls. Infantry roll extra dice in the Defensive Posture in rough, city or jungle/forest terrain. Bombers conducting Saturation Bombing roll an extra ‘shock’ roll. Fighter Bombers attacking ships roll an extra Strike Severity against ship targets, allowing the possibility that they can sink an aircraft carrier (which we did at Midway) or a battleship (which the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor).

    Our basic approach is this: what actually happened in World War 2 must have the possibility of occurring in the game - at least to some extent. Equally, rules must be grounded in realism. If an infantry unit invades a territory and there is a bomber defending it, why does the bomber defend on a 1? What, is he surprised by 35,000 troops coming into the country and couldn’t get in the air before then? Couldn’t he just fly away or bomb them? We fixed that problem. Or the problem that Fighters attack everything on a 3 and defend on a 4. In actuality, Fighters weren’t good at attacking ships at all, were not great attacking ground troops, but were the best thing to use in shooting down other planes (which is what they were designed to do primarily). They can attack railroads for a strategic strike however. Fighter Bombers are what you want against ships and for close air support.

    We also reduced shore bombardment for cruisers and battleships. In World War 2, we just do not see the type of devastation that could easily occur in the game. It wasn’t as effective as it looked to be at all. We bombed and shelled Iwo Jima for days and when Marines got there, the Japanese weren’t badly damaged. Same with Tarawa. And D-Day.

    Carrier combat. In the air-naval battle sequence, we’ve included an air battle phase - because planes reach ships before ships reach ships; ships don’t fire at planes that are not attacking them; planes generally select their targets; planes cannot fire at subs without anti-sub capability. The ocean is just too large.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Bud:

    JB, we’re using somewhat standard units (Infantry, Paratrooper, Motorized Infantry, Tank, Heavy Tank, Artillery, Self-Propelled Artillery, AA Guns and Partisans - for ground units). We’re not going to get into ‘elite’ units because this game is a strategic level game, and one infantry guy on the board represents approximately 20,000-50,000 actual troops - and realistically not all those troops could be elite - so it balances out. The scale of the game makes ‘elite’ units less relevant. You probably could add units to the game though without a problem.

    You could use D12, which gives you ways to add differences between units. But we found other ways to add variables to combat rolls. Infantry roll extra dice in the Defensive Posture in rough, city or jungle/forest terrain. Bombers conducting Saturation Bombing roll an extra ‘shock’ roll. Fighter Bombers attacking ships roll an extra Strike Severity against ship targets, allowing the possibility that they can sink an aircraft carrier (which we did at Midway) or a battleship (which the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor).

    Our basic approach is this: what actually happened in World War 2 must have the possibility of occurring in the game - at least to some extent. Equally, rules must be grounded in realism. If an infantry unit invades a territory and there is a bomber defending it, why does the bomber defend on a 1? What, is he surprised by 35,000 troops coming into the country and couldn’t get in the air before then? Couldn’t he just fly away or bomb them? We fixed that problem. Or the problem that Fighters attack everything on a 3 and defend on a 4. In actuality, Fighters weren’t good at attacking ships at all, were not great attacking ground troops, but were the best thing to use in shooting down other planes (which is what they were designed to do primarily). They can attack railroads for a strategic strike however. Fighter Bombers are what you want against ships and for close air support.

    We also reduced shore bombardment for cruisers and battleships. In World War 2, we just do not see the type of devastation that could easily occur in the game. It wasn’t as effective as it looked to be at all. We bombed and shelled Iwo Jima for days and when Marines got there, the Japanese weren’t badly damaged. Same with Tarawa. And D-Day.

    Carrier combat. In the air-naval battle sequence, we’ve included an air battle phase - because planes reach ships before ships reach ships; ships don’t fire at planes that are not attacking them; planes generally select their targets; planes cannot fire at subs without anti-sub capability. The ocean is just too large.

    This game you created on an overall scale sounds awesome. When do think you will have the rules up for it?

    I understand that elite units can’t be a part of this because of the scale of the game, but that is ok as long as the game is good.

    Can’t wait to try it out. 🙂

    John


  • This approach of rethinking how the game mechanics are designed is amazing.  It begs the question for some (such as me): why didn’t I think of that? Lol.

    If this gets wind in the rest of the A&A community, these ideas have the potential (I’m hoping and guessing) to start a new generation of A&A boardgames, or in other words, revolutionize the way they’re played, once everything is refined.

    Compressing the amount of time it takes to finish a game within 4 hours is of importance to quite a few people who don’t have enough attention span or time for long games.  I wouldn’t have a clue how to do that myself at the moment,  but I’m enthusiastic about these reforms myself since I prefer long games.

    I can’t wait to see what the fine details are for this.  I’ll add some input if I come up with anything.


  • have you guys begun writing these rules down?  they are really incredible.  I’ve always felt the game wasn’t realistic enough but trying to redesign a game on your own can be incredibly overwhelming.  I’d love to see what you guys have and try to add my own house rules or new political situations.  Also I’m curious how long your games take?  given that each turn is only a month.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Bud:

    In Strategic Combat a player can do missions like Strategic Bombing Raids, Strategic Shelling, Espionage and Combat Air Patrol.

    Out of curiosity, what is Strategic Shelling in the game and what does it correspond to in real-life WWII?


  • To all interested readers: game development of alternate rules has resumed (I was overseas in the summer conducting research and have returned). We’re play testing the rules and the game thoroughly. It is an advanced version of Axis & Allies for the serious, long-term gamer. Since each turn is a month of the war, the game lasts a long time. It’s impossible to play the game in a single afternoon or even a weekend. The obvious disadvantage of a game like this is that some players simply do not have the time or space for this type of game. It requires a space for the game to be set up and remain set up for weeks or even months. We play once a week for three hours at a time (we’d play more but that’s just not possible). We set up the game in a game room and it remains set up week after week. The advantage of a game like this, however, is that you will 1) never play the same game twice - because we introduced too many new variables; 2) it is based on realism; 3) it’s really fun but requires a lot of thinking and planning - a high level of strategic thinking - much more like World War II.

    Someone asked about strategic shelling. Strategic shelling is when a battleship or a cruiser moves to an enemy port or naval base and shells it during strategic combat - to destroy it.

    We did alter the map a little bit. We added some territory in Africa. Basically we put down scotch tape and drew a new border with a marker to make Kenya and NE Congo. We wanted to make Africa larger because it is actually a HUGE continent and without railroads it takes a long time to get from South Africa to Cairo. Railroads are really important in this new game. Troops from eastern Russia can actually go west and fight Germany if need be - which actually happened.

    We’ve added a few more new developments to combat: Surprise (which the game had already but needed to be improved) and the number of combat rounds per offensive, which is 0-5 (we bought special D6 dice that range from 0-5, but you don’t necessarily need this - as you can just roll the D6 and subtract one as a base score). For the latter development, we thought about situations in which armies would make little progress for months on end (like in Burma) but huge gains in other areas (like the Russian offensives of 1944). We asked why. One factor is terrain. Burma is a rough, jungle area. The British were still fighting the Japanese there in 1944 - while the Russians by that time had overtaken huge sections of their country back and were on the Polish frontier. In Africa, for several months there was essentially a stalemate. In Italy, the Casssino line held for months. So, we introduced the number of combat rounds per offensive. These are modified by terrain, weather and whether you have a commander in the operation. If a player ends up with a 0 for combat rounds, there’s no actual combat: the territory becomes contested. They move in the territory, but there’s little violence. A number of factors could be the cause 1) supply problems; 2) communication problems that make coordination difficult; 3) unwillingness of troops or commanders to engage the enemy; 4) the enemy avoids contact. While we don’t have rules to tell you what actually takes place (this is a strategic level game, after all) - the result is that no substantial combat takes place over that month at that location. Each battle, before it begins, rolls to see how many rounds of combat takes place. This prevents the unrealistic dimension in the game before: that battles last as long as one side either retreats or is destroyed or surrenders. The 0-5 rule gives us an idea of the level of violence an operation had. I think, in the end, if we look at the German offensive in the Battle of the Bulge, we see that the Germans attacked - but they only had - in game terms - maybe 1 or 2 rounds of attacking. They couldn’t sustain a long-term offensive like the Russians did on the eastern front. Naval engagements would also last 0-5 rounds. Sometimes it’s just not possible to find an enemy fleet in a vast ocean. We found the Japanese fleet at Midway almost by luck (we did send out PBY planes, but it took a while to find them). The British hunted down the Bismarck and it took a long time. If a battle is unresolved then it becomes contested - we have rules for what that means and how subsequent combat movement and combat occur in such territories. You lose the IPCs if it is contested, although the other player doesn’t get them either…

    We also changed lend-lease rules - a maximum of 16 IPCs may be given to an allied player or players. It’s unrealistic that half a nation’s income can be given to another player. Congress just simply would never allow that under any circumstances.

    We’re still working on the rules. We are going to write them down in readable form (they are written down, but it’s still in development). We’re sticking with a D6 system but there’s no reason you can’t convert it to a D12. My associate wants to move to a D8 system, but I’m not sold on the idea. I hate the D8 dice. Never liked it.  🙂

    We’ll keep everyone updated with developments as we go along. Hopefully by Christmas this war will be over. But it’s only March 1940 in our game. War has already began between the Germans and the Russians; Japan has invaded Australia and is fighting in Burma. The Italians are in Somaliland causing the Commonwealth and the British in Cairo huge problems. But the British are on the verge of taking Tobruk, and that is key. America isn’t in the war yet, but getting closer. The Axis control the Atlantic. France has fallen. It’s a dark time for the Allies. But China is fighting hard. Really hard.


  • Man, this really makes me wish I could join your group…  😐 .  No one I usually play with would do this.  It’s exactly the type of thing I’d like to do.


  • Upon seeing this original post I’ve also been trying to create a one month turn, but I have one question and one request.  My question is how do you deal with purchasing units when a turn is one month and most of my military buddies say combat training now a days is about 4 months.  My solution was to buy four turns in advance and each nation would get pre determined units for the first three turns.  Did you do something similar.  My request which also comes with a question is, could you post your setup charts you’ve created, because I’ve found nations like German and France very easy to find but Britain given the size of its empire very difficult to find the exact dispositions of units.  The question that goes along with that is what scale are you using.  For me it seemed most logical to use divisions for tanks and infantry and such, wings for airplanes, and groups of 500 or so for artillery.  I also favor a 12 sided die combat system to allow more variation within units, because its fair to say that in the beginning of the war German infantry would be better than Russian infantry due to more experience and stalin’s great purge.  Also with regards to strategic combat I had the idea to add counter battery fire so artillery can fire to destroy other artillery pieces in current combats or future combat zone.  Sorry for the disorganization and rambling nature of this post, I’m replying on my phone so it’s hard to format this into paragraphs.


  • @rohr94:

    Upon seeing this original post I’ve also been trying to create a one month turn, but I have one question and one request.  My question is how do you deal with purchasing units when a turn is one month and most of my military buddies say combat training now a days is about 4 months.  My solution was to buy four turns in advance and each nation would get pre determined units for the first three turns.  Did you do something similar.  My request which also comes with a question is, could you post your setup charts you’ve created, because I’ve found nations like German and France very easy to find but Britain given the size of its empire very difficult to find the exact dispositions of units.  The question that goes along with that is what scale are you using.  For me it seemed most logical to use divisions for tanks and infantry and such, wings for airplanes, and groups of 500 or so for artillery.  I also favor a 12 sided die combat system to allow more variation within units, because its fair to say that in the beginning of the war German infantry would be better than Russian infantry due to more experience and stalin’s great purge.  Also with regards to strategic combat I had the idea to add counter battery fire so artillery can fire to destroy other artillery pieces in current combats or future combat zone.  Sorry for the disorganization and rambling nature of this post, I’m replying on my phone so it’s hard to format this into paragraphs.

    Rohr, I’ve thought about that. Taking turns to mobilize units… It would be more realistic - you are absolutely right. For Infantry, you can assume that the training has already been done and when you ‘purchase’ new units they are then mobilized. However, you’re correct about the timeline. So, we’re going to work on this. Making a battleship takes time. All of this depends upon a country’s infrastructure too. Great question and point!

    For set up - funny - we were just having this conversation… We used number of troops as a baseline - but a unit on the board includes more than just numbers (1 Infantry = 30,000-50,000 troops): training, equipment, communications, leadership, and combat power. All those factors go into set-up. So, for example, in 1939 Germany had I believe about 2000-3000 tanks maybe - 6 panzer divisions entered Poland in 1939 out of 63 divisions. The Russians had about 19,000 tanks. Russian tanks in 1939 were not very good - the German tanks weren’t much better, but: they had communications equipment in their lead tanks, better tank officers who understood tank warfare (although the Russians had just as good tank theorists as the Germans - i.e. Tuchachevsky - but he was killed by Stalin). So, we give the Russians 5 tanks in 1939. They have more tanks but probably the same amount of combat power… Set-up is difficult.

    The French boasted that they had 5,000,000 reservists and fielded about 900,000 men in the field in 1939. But, essentially, this was a World War I army. It was ‘larger’ than the German army at the time - but on the game board the French won’t have more troops than the Germans because the Germans were a better army.

    The other reason why we shy away from a strict ‘numbers of troops’ ratio to game board pieces is because the Russians later in the war were moving around 400 divisions. We can’t have 400 infantry on the board - or anything close to it. So, we decided to make infantry represent more and added other factors.

    I have set-up charts but they’re not quite right. We tried to stick to the set-up charts of other versions and make adjustments, but we did have to change. For example, the Russians may have had a battleship in 1939, but was it the equivalent to a German or American battleship? No. In terms of combat power it was a cruiser - so that’s what we gave to them…

    The counter-battery idea is interesting. I’ll talk to the other game designer. It certainly happened in WW2 but the question is how effective was it on the strategic level. Could an artillery battery really take out another artillery battery during a battle - with pin-point precision? In a large territory - hundreds of square miles? Maybe. Aircraft can certainly select artillery units - we do have that in the game… Maybe the Weapons development ‘Advanced Artillery’ can do something like that - or at least select targets they want to fire at in a battle. That might work… Thank you for your post. You bring up some good ideas. This is precisely the reason why we posted this thread.


  • Where are you guys located?


  • Nashville area.


  • I am the “other designer” for this working group on the Alternate Version with Bud T. Thanks for the many questions and comments on this board that help us develop these rules. I think the Global AA map is an excellent start. The alterations we have suggested are key: terrain, a few spaces added in land areas, and some adjustment of sea spaces. We have altered the movements of ships for combat vs. non-combat movement to address realistic timeframes.

    One area of concern for us is this: can planes and ships during a month complete a strategic mission AND a tactical mission on the player’s turn? In other words is there evidence that a bomber group based in England did strategic bombing raids and then perhaps went on a sub-hunting tactical mission in the SAME month? Right now we have gone back and forth with having a strategic mission OR a tactical mission but not both. We tried having both and it was not a great example because in our current test two of the countries have heavy bombers which were very advantageous to use in both a strategic and tactical manner.

    It is hard to determine the size of a “bomber plane” on the AA board. We perhaps consider the plane to be approximately 500-1000 planes depending on quality, pilots, types, etc. If any of you find some historical examples, let us know.

    Game set-up is a huge issue for us right now. The problem is that the game will never completely recreate World War 2 as it was. The idea of “Blitzkrieg” is very suspect in 1939 and even in France and Russia in 1940-41. German armor was of poor quality in the beginning of the war. It is hard to translate this into “tank” pieces on a board. Russia had 19000 armored vehicles in 1939. But in game terms this is not 19 tanks or even 10 tanks. The T-26 was not a great tank nor was the BT5 or even the KV1. The T28 was better but was slow. But German armor was not that good either. PZI’s and II’s and even III’s were not that effective. The Czech armor was better. But a “tank” on the board has a number of factors we are considering: number, tank design, mobility, range, skill of crew including leadership, communications, logistics, and especially tactics. In the beginning of the war in 1941 the Soviets fielded large numbers of tanks but lacked critical areas. So did the French (like not having radios in their tanks). German tactics and training and especially leadership (who can compete with Heinz Guderian?) were a large factor in Wehrmacht success.

    During the Winter War with Finland, it took the Soviets at least 4 months (4 turns) to really take the small area east of Helsinki and maybe a northern part. They had 600,000 casualties. The Finns about 65,000. Recreating this in game terms but unit placement in the beginning of the game is one of our greatest challenges.

    There are peculiar aspects as to actually what happened in the War that may be just lucky instances that are hard to recreate in the game. Almost 2.5 million Soviets surrendered in 1941. This is almost as many men as the US put in Europe in the entire war (combatant and non-combatant).

    One other thing: what do you guys think of this? Mobile artillery gives infantry OR tanks +1 on offense? Tanks attack on 4. Too much?


  • yeah as far as placement, i decided to break units down into the lowest strategic autonomous unit, so division for infantry and tanks, groups for planes, and for guns i used a number not a organization.  so for example in the beginning of the game i gave germany 11 bombers to represent the 11 gruppes they had at the onset of the war. i know this means that you’re going to have large numbers of units on the board especially in places like russia.  so in order to deal with this i just bought several different colored chips from hbb to allow these kind of large armies.

    as for the mobile artillery giving a +1 to tanks, i think this and other tactical options are harder on a d6 version.  thats why i prefer a d12 or even d20 version.  this allows for you to represent things like superior German training and the difficulties the russians faced in the beginning of the war because of the purge stalin commenced in the interwar years.  as well as creating several special units like japanese light tanks, the various special german tanks, or even rushing the training of units so players on their last leg can create new divisions with lower rolls but faster build times.  this only applies to my version i’m trying to create because i have 4 turns of predetermined mobilization for all the powers, and you buy things four turns in advance to keep with the general notion that combat training is about 4 months.


  • three more things.

    1. what kind of map changes did you find necessary?  i have heard several people talking about the way turkey is divided up, and just based on historical knowledge i have of the region i could see a different design making sense.  i personally so far have divided western poland into 3 zones to better deploy the polish armies to their respective historical regions.  in addition i’ve divided reims into three zones, east reims, i.e. the maginot line section, the ardennes section which is where the main german mechanized advance occurred because french and british theoreticians didn’t believe a large mechanized force could make an assault through the dense woods, and west reims where the bulk of the french forces were located to advance into the low countries where it was believed the Germans would attempt to recreate the schlieffen plan from the first world war. these are the only territory modifications i’ve made so far because i havent set up my game and looked at what areas need to be adapted to better suit a 1 month turn.

    2)  i realized that earlier when i mentioned counter battery fire and you asked a question about how often this happened i never replied. i personally am a history major at UMBC and my area of interest is military history in the first half of the twentieth century.  I’ve read a lot more scholarship on the first world war compared to the second one. and just based on both German and allied powers artillery doctrine from that war, counter battery fire was very important and for the Germans very successful. so i dont think that allowing for counter battery fire in the strategic phase at a lower combat value then what artillery usually fire at in the tactical phase would be too far off.  the lower combat value would represent the increased difficulty in firing at hidden artillery positions compared to infantry in the open.

    3)  my goal in trying to develop these rules is much like yours.  i want to create a game that is fun but where events in the war can actually occur.  my main issue with the current a & a game is that france always gets pwned which isn’t very accurate.  the guderian thrust towards the channel could have just as easily been thwarted by allied efforts. however the french government believed that all hope was lost, and in churchills eyes he’s not going to continue to help defend a government that has already given up.  hence the allied retreat at dunkirk.  so i think to accurately represent these kinds of issues political situations would have to be very in depth.  i also was toying with the idea of grand army movements.  so for example you could attempt an encirclement movement and if successful an entire army could be either captured or prevented from retreating and hence completely destroyed.  i think success would have to be determined by a dice role which would be effected by certain modifiers both positive and negative.  what do you guys think of this kind of idea.

    p.s. sorry for the rambling nature of my posts.

  • '14

    I live in Savannah, TN.

    Do you guys realize this game would not take hours but days to play?  Cool ideas though!


  • Tigerman77 you are correct. I know that for many, AA needs to be completed in a long afternoon as the game is designed. However, Bud T and I leave the game set up and come back to it week by week. This is simply unrealistic for many. There are ideas about establishing victory conditions for shorter gaming. However, as we continue to play-test these rule changes it is quite enjoyable. It is almost a new genre of board gaming in some sense, much like when someone does campaign mode on the Xbox and comes back to it when they have time. They save where they left off. The complexity allows for much variation in play. One will never play the same AA game twice! Thanks for your input and your achievement in the map.


  • @rohr94:

    three more things.

    1. what kind of map changes did you find necessary?  i have heard several people talking about the way turkey is divided up, and just based on historical knowledge i have of the region i could see a different design making sense.  i personally so far have divided western poland into 3 zones to better deploy the polish armies to their respective historical regions.  in addition i’ve divided reims into three zones, east reims, i.e. the maginot line section, the ardennes section which is where the main german mechanized advance occurred because french and british theoreticians didn’t believe a large mechanized force could make an assault through the dense woods, and west reims where the bulk of the french forces were located to advance into the low countries where it was believed the Germans would attempt to recreate the schlieffen plan from the first world war. these are the only territory modifications i’ve made so far because i havent set up my game and looked at what areas need to be adapted to better suit a 1 month turn.

    2)  i realized that earlier when i mentioned counter battery fire and you asked a question about how often this happened i never replied. i personally am a history major at UMBC and my area of interest is military history in the first half of the twentieth century.  I’ve read a lot more scholarship on the first world war compared to the second one. and just based on both German and allied powers artillery doctrine from that war, counter battery fire was very important and for the Germans very successful. so i dont think that allowing for counter battery fire in the strategic phase at a lower combat value then what artillery usually fire at in the tactical phase would be too far off.  the lower combat value would represent the increased difficulty in firing at hidden artillery positions compared to infantry in the open.Â

    3)  my goal in trying to develop these rules is much like yours.  i want to create a game that is fun but where events in the war can actually occur.  my main issue with the current a & a game is that france always gets pwned which isn’t very accurate.  the guderian thrust towards the channel could have just as easily been thwarted by allied efforts. however the french government believed that all hope was lost, and in churchills eyes he’s not going to continue to help defend a government that has already given up.  hence the allied retreat at dunkirk.  so i think to accurately represent these kinds of issues political situations would have to be very in depth.  i also was toying with the idea of grand army movements.  so for example you could attempt an encirclement movement and if successful an entire army could be either captured or prevented from retreating and hence completely destroyed.  i think success would have to be determined by a dice role which would be effected by certain modifiers both positive and negative.  what do you guys think of this kind of idea.

    p.s. sorry for the rambling nature of my posts.

    These are great ideas. I will examine the map changes you refer to when I get a chance. I could see that spacing may be a problem though I like the Ardennes idea. Those nuances are important. You certainly know your history. I can see why you say the things you do because of the study of military history. Most of my own studies centered on the Eastern Front. As Tigerman77 indicated, realism and playability do not always mix unless you have the time and space to leave the game set up and return to it. It does take days!

    We address the grand army movement in terms of encirclement with surrender roles. If a territory is surrounded and attacked by one who wins the initiative, there is a greater propensity to surrender for the defender. Generals and air power also affect surrender roles as well. Recreating France with its military power is so difficult, because we all know they could have put up a better fight than they did. We may need to address morale as another factor to add to the mix. Thanks for your important contributions.


  • Just wondering here.  Have you guys considered implementing fog of war elements into the game?  If so, how?  Do you think it would slow the game down too much?  Is it even viable with your ruleset?

    The way I would do it is have 3 boards setup (one for Axis, one for Allies and one for a referee).  I’d have a system setup to have reconnaissance in the game, and other ways of information gathering (informants, spies, etc, if it’s possible).  You would need separate rooms and a way to communicate wirelessly (like with skype or something of the sort).

    I thought about doing it a while ago myself, but as for many others, there’s lack of space, material and willingness on my friends’ part.


  • I actually posted about this back in July.  I also had worked out a sulyatem for the current game.  But given that I don’t want to spend an extra $100 on a new board let alone $200 on two,  I decided on a one board version that needs to be played with trusted friends.  Given that,  I don’t think it would work on my version that I’m developing just because of the sheer scale of my game.  Since I’m using division as my infantry unit, you’d need to be keeping hundreds of units secret,  there’s too much room for error.  If you’re interested in my fog of war rules the title of my previous post was intelligence.

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