Railroads, Swiss Alps, and National Identities Optional Rules

  • I’ve created some new and optional rules for Axis and Allies 1914 to try and make the game more interesting to play, but I’m not sure they are all entirely balanced or thorough enough to use as house rules. If you can take the time to read them and make suggestions I’d appreciate it.

    Railroad Redeployment:

    Once per turn at the beginning of the Move Units phase you may move any number of units you own from one friendly or contested territory to another friendly or contested territory, passing through any friendly territories (but not contested territories) in an unbroken chain. You may not pass through the same territory twice, but you may pick up and/or drop units you own along the way if desired. Units moved in this manner may take part in attacks, but may not board transports that turn. Note that a Railroad Redeployment move must be performed before all other moves in the Move Units phase, and units that use this special movement option cannot make any further moves in that turn.

    Switzerland and the Swiss Army:

    Switzerland remained neutral throughout the war not only because of it valued its independence from foreign powers, but also because of the harshness of the terrain associated with the Swiss Alps and the superior training of the Swiss Army in utilizing this hostile environment.

    When Switzerland mobilizes to confront an invading army, count the IPC number as 1 higher for the purposes of determining the quantity of units mobilized. Furthermore, always reduce the number of hits taken by defending units mobilized within Switzerland by the number of defending units present at the beginning of the Combat Phase. This represents the difficulty of bringing forces to bear against the Swiss Army.

    National Identities (Optional Rule):

    Nationalism was one of the greater callings of the war, and each major power had its own military and political structures and preferred tactics that differed from the others. If choosing to use this rule, each major power gains the following unique benefits for the duration of the game:


    Ultimatum : Choose one Minor Power adjacent to any territory you own or contest at the beginning of your turn. This territory reduces its IPC value by 1 for the purposes of determining how many forces are mobilized against your invasions. If this would reduce the IPC value to 0, Austria-Hungary claims the territory without resistance. Note that the IPC value in relation to income remains unchanged. Switzerland is not subject to this special rule.

    Levee En Masse : Austria-Hungary can place Infantry units anywhere in their original territories (whether they are friendly or contested) during their Mobilize Units phase instead of just at their Capital.

    Imperial Russia:

    Inexhaustible Manpower : At the start of Russia’s turn during the Production and Repair phase, 1 free Infantry unit owned by Russia is placed in Moscow. This Infantry unit may move, attack, and be redeployed by railroad as normal even if Moscow is contested.

    Trans Siberian Railroad : Russia may perform two Railroad redeployments in a single turn, but may not move the same units twice in the same turn.


    Schlieffen Plan : The first time Germany attacks the territories of Lorraine, Picardy, and Belgium, you may reroll all failed hits caused by your units. Furthermore, during each subsequent attack against these territories you may reroll all hit rolls of 6 with your units.

    First Strike : During the first round of a naval combat, attacking (but not defending) German Submarines cannot be targeted by hits caused by enemy naval units unless they are Cruisers.


    Grand Howitzers : Artillery units owned by France reroll failed rolls to hit of 6 in the combat phase while attacking and defending.

    Air Engineers : French fighter planes cost 1 IPC less to build during the Production and Repair phase, and can move 1 additional space in the Move Units phase.

    British Empire:
    Her Majesty’s Fleet : British Cruisers and Battleships reroll to hit rolls of 6 in all naval combats. British Transport ships can move one more space then normal in the Movement phase, subject to the normal restrictions.

    Tank Engineers : British Tanks can be built in Turn 3, and cost 1 IPC less to build during the Production and Repair phase each turn afterward.

    Ottoman Empire:

    Exceptional Navigators : Ottoman Battleships, Transports, Submarines and Cruisers reroll hits against them resulting from passing into or though a sea zone that’s mined.

    Determined Defence : Ottoman land units can reroll failed to hit rolls while defending Constantinople. In addition, as long as Constantinople is not owned by another major power Ottoman land units may reroll to hit results of 6 while defending on their original territories.


    Avante Garde : Italian Infantry units reroll 6s to Hit in the Combat Phase while attacking and defending in their original territories.

    Holy Lands : Italy always receives income from its original territories even if they are contested during the Collect Income phase, but not if they have been conquered by an enemy major power.

    United States:

    Capitalism : Each turn at the beginning of the Production and Repair phase, select one unit type. This unit type has its IPC cost reduced by 1 for the duration of the turn. You cannot pick the same unit type two turns in a row.

    Foreign Investment : At the end of the Collect Income phase, the United States player can opt to distribute up to 5 IPCs of their own to the other Allied Powers, both during and prior to entering the war.

  • While reading this I had too main thoughts.
    1-It means even more rolling in a game where units last for much longer all ready
    2-These new rules will not just shape how players move, it will demand it. For example the germany bonus that are trerritory specific mean Germany must attack there, while france will almost want to concede those places just to survive.

  • Customizer

    Although a long time advocate of rail movement, I’ve always felt that units should never be able to rail into battle. There should be a period of “de-training” where the units are organized and marched up to the front line.

    Typically the rail move will be units placed in the capital at the end of the previous turn; these should be allowed to reinforce friendly areas only; think of it as a non-combat movement phase between standard movement and combat.

  • I agree with both responses. Railroad movement should allow greatly extended mobility when not attacking. Troops going from one front to the other should be able to do so fast. But troops should have to actually march to the enemy, not ride on rails. Makes sense both mechanically and in terms of what the game represents.

    I agree about the caution in national advantages that cement strategies too rigidly.

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