Attempts to make 1941 like its predecessors?

  • Hey everybody, I’ve been checking out a lot of stuff on these forums and finally decided to sign up.  My only A&A game is 1941 so far, I love it, but it still leaves me wanting more, sort of like how the simplicity of Risk led me to start A&A in the first place.  Not wanting to drop the money for 1942 or 1940 at the moment, I was wondering if anyone has made any house rules or anything to make 1941 a little more like these other incarnations.  I’m just looking for a little more depth to the game because it really does feel like a dumbed down version of 1942, the small map surely can’t be fixed but what else can be done to enhance it?  Please post any stories about experiences with changing the rules to this game at all and how they worked out, thanks guys!

  • Customizer

    Honestly I’d get on ebay or amazon and pick up a copy of another edition. Anything I’d suggest to improve 1941 is going to cost you a bit of money. Amazon has a lot of good deals on 1942SE and If you like 1941 you’ll really like 42SE.

  • I’m considering buying more pieces from a site like historical board gaming.  Has anyone tried tweaking IPC values or implementing artillery, AA guns, or strategic bombing for this edition?

  • Customizer

    HBG is fantastic! I highly recommend it. I still think though that by the time you purchase enough pieces to modify 1941 you’ll have spent enough money to have bought another edition either new or used.

    I will also warn you that once you start collecting and modifying you’re going to find yourself addicted.

    Last you may be able to simply buy a board off ebay. However you will also need additional pieces to play the other versions in the series unless you just buy the game.

    1941 is vastly different in many respects to other editions. I like it, but it’s really bare-bones comparitively.

  • Alright, I’ll consider it, thanks!  🙂

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I concur with Toblerone77’s advice.  Rather than taking the time and effort and expense to upgrade a bicycle into a motorbike, and getting a less-than-ideal product as a final result, you’re much better off just buying a motorbike.  (There was an episode of the Red Green Show in which the title character announced, if I recall correctly, that he was going to demonstrate how to convert an old pickup truck into a bicycle, using a hacksaw and “the handyman’s secret weapon: duct tape.”  He paused, looked thoughtfully at the truck, then added, “You may need a couple of rolls.”)

    I also very much concur with his description of sculpt-collecting as highly addictive.  😄

  • '19 '15 '14

    Has anyone tried tweaking IPC values or implementing artillery, AA guns, or strategic bombing for this edition?

    Yes on all counts. 🙂

    I will depart a bit from the others who responded so far and suggest that you adapt your 1941 game.
    1941 is an ideal mapboard to tweak. I favor it for its simplicity and ease of instruction. Basically its the only board out right now, that I think I could confidently teach a complete newb how to play in one evening.

    Something about is just charming to me, even for all its flaws. First off, it’d be good to adapt because you already own it and are familiar with it, but also because, without tweaking, the game can get boring rather quickly. The upside of 41 is that its quick to set up and fast to play. The downside is that it emulates the experience of the original Classic grind, with slow infantry pushes and limited options on broader strategy.

    My IPC tweak and correction for this board was very simple, add +1 ipc for each territory controlled. This money was added to the total at the collect income phase for each nation, but did not count towards the production value. So basically an influx of cash, but retaining the same production spread. The effect was to up the total money in play by about a third and to re-balance the game Axis vs Allies (since Allies begin with more territories under their control.) This was tested under both the vanilla Boxed set up, and also with the modifications by Krieghund. The proposal to give extra infantry in Russia, China, and an extra destroyer for America. While I found that I enjoyed both, it was definitely more fun with the extra infantry and destroyer than it was OOB, since this allowed for a stronger Allied start, and a more even game overall. However, even then, I found that the lack of artillery made the overall game length more drawn out than I had become accustomed to on other boards. For all its simplifications, the game  just still felt like it was dragging. That is when I tried with Artillery, and since then I haven’t gone back.

    Artillery is the key, if you can find some units from other boards or online, I say go for it. The traditional cost at 4 works fine, and the infantry boost ability provides a major shift in the overall attack defense dynamics. The inclusion of Artillery alone fixes most of my gripes with this map.

    1941 can be fun if you are willing to play around with it a bit.
    I consider it the most shuck-crazy Axis and Allies map of all time! You’re shuck-shucking all over the place on this map!

    Unlike 1942.2 which eliminated shucks wherever it could, this board did the exact opposite. That creates a kind of wild logistical situation where it is much easier (at least in terms of the mapboard itself) to reverse direction in the middle of the game. Aircraft especially can be bounced around with a quickness.

    There is an exploit on this map, that is unavoidable, I call it fighter camping. Basically it is a result of the fact that Berlin and Moscow are only 3 moves apart. This means that fighters from either side can defend one capital while simultaneously threatening the other. At first I didn’t like this aspect of the game. I thought it was exceedingly silly, especially as regards the Japanese push on Moscow (being able to camp fighters in Berlin and still use them in attacks against Moscow.) But now I am starting to see the novelty of the design. Its basically like a ticking time bomb. The first player who removes his fighters from “capital defense” to send them for “capital attack” sets off a round of cascading attacks from everyone. In practical terms, what this means is that you have to be ready to attack Berlin as soon as Moscow is attacked (immediately) or vice versa. I find that with the proper tweaks in place, this fact of the map’s territory division, has the potential to resolve games more quickly.

    So yeah I would say give it go. I have played this board using pretty much all the units of 1942.2. The only units that gave me pause were the AAgun and the SBR of the bomber. At one point I was playing with no bombers at all. The only problem I found with AA and SBR, is there was not enough income/production on the board to properly implement it. I think if you want to try those abilities and units, its essential to introduce more money. Otherwise the effect of a single run can be so game changing (either on SBR, or if it gets shot down) that its hard to predict the overall effect on game balance. Or at least that is what I have found. I mean, the decision to strat bomb or attack with air against an AA gun is just so major. I would say, if you do want to include the anti aircraft artillery unit, then its best to just let players buy them, rather than including them in the starting unit set up. They can be very deadly on a lucky roll, since there are less aircraft overall with the starting units, and these are expensive and difficult to replace.

    My suggestion is to just start by adding artillery, and see if you enjoy the effect on the gameplay. I find it much improved

  • Thanks for the thorough response, Black_Elk! One of the reasons I’d rather stick to 1941 is that it’s easier to introduce to my friends, but now I’ll be able to add house rules when I play with people who become familiar with it. I ordered around seventy extra pieces from HBG for twelve dollars and I plan to use your IPC idea to allow bigger purchases and larger battles. I’m guessing you mean +1 for each territory already designated a value, so 11 for USSR, 19 for Germany, 21 for UK, 13 for Japan, and 24 for USA, right? At least I think that is very reasonable. Hopefully this alone will make things interesting, but I will implement bombardment, bombing, and artillery just in case.  😄

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Good luck with that, smanifesto.
    Black Elk: good work, that was a great help. Many good ideas.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Yeah there are actually several different methods to introduce money with this board.

    You can do it by individual territories controlled, or, even more simply, with a generic bonus. For example:
    +3, +5 or +10 ipcs for each VC controlled. Conveniently there are only 5 VCs in 1941 and all of these also happen to be capitals. So it is possible to introduce extra money with an even distribution to each player Nation. Or you can add the bonus based on Factories controlled +X ipcs per factory. Or, if you want it to be variable, you could also try +1d6 ipcs for each VC, on a roll every round for each player nation. Things like that can provide an easy way to break stalemates or slow crawls in 41.

    The overall OOB money is so low in 1941, that even a tiny change in cash can be major. So long as you don’t adjust the production values, the extra money tends to encourage the purchase of more powerful units, such as artillery, tanks, ships and aircraft. This also makes the replacement cost of the starting units easier to absorb, should they die in the first round, which could be helpful if you plan to introduce SBR or AAfire. Consider that a territory like UK or Germany could get bombed up to a total of 6 production in the very first round, which is half of the entire war chest OOB! Extra money can make these things like SBR easier to balance for. Taking the chance against an AA gun with a bomber would take some serious brass on this board! but the effects could likewise be decisive. Similarly, bombardment can also be introduced on this board. It just depends how much you want to add, and which sculpts you can acquire. But the map itself is pretty simple to modify, since it starts from a simple base.

    You may wish to experiment with different ways of adding money, I just find the capital bonus or the territory count methods to be the simplest.

    I suggest a bid between 15-20 ipcs for Allies for the vanilla unit set up. That covers the spread on Russia at least, which gets crushed by G otherwise. 3 inf for Russia, 1 inf in China, and 1 Destroyer in sz 11 = 20 ipcs total, the suggested modification… though that doesn’t consider the inclusion of artillery. Alternatively you can just bid out Allies and open around 20. Whatever suits your style. I find that artillery makes for a tighter game.

    Have fun!

  • I love Axis/Allies and picked this one up, because I can’t set aside hours and hours to play. This game forces the players to think through their attacks, because each one is critical due to the lack of money in the game. I did some solitaire play tests to check out the rules, and I agree that allowing artillery to be purchased, but not as a setup, works well. Russia is in a horrible position in this game. Japan can kick in the backdoor almost immediately in Szechwan. The artillery helped stabilize the front and bought time against Germany, because Germany needed to march its artillery from Berlin. Artillery is the key to tweaking this game, IMO.

    I played hundreds of games on GTO and used many of the opening turn 1 moves I learned from those excellent players for 1941. They worked. Britain’s Atlantic fleet is doomed on turn 1, but the Indian Ocean and Pacific fleets can really cause problems for the Axis on turn 1. Only having 1 sea zone around Australia gives Britain a lot of flexibility with that transport. It just depends on what Germany does, regarding Egypt. The USA Atlantic transport should be sunk immediately to buy time for Germany. All in all, I found myself thinking through many tactical problems with each turn for each nation. This water-downed game is much better than what veterans may believe.  😄

  • TripleA '12

    I want to modify my 1941 with the inclusion of Artillery. Does anyone have any ideas of starting positions for such units, or is it just a case of buying them at the beginning of the game?

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Morning Loz.
    I would put one on the East coast  of the US, one in Russia, one on England,
    one on Japan and one in Germany and one in Eastern Europe. I think 6 is a good number.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


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