Stripped down g40, how to play using a simpler ruleset

  • '19 '15 '14

    I’m curious if anyone else has attempted to play G40 using a simplified ruleset?

    The alpha 3 and second edition rulesets, as well as all the HRs I’ve seen, seem to work at correcting balance by introducing more complexity into an already complex game. Of all the A&A boards, the 1940 games have the most nuanced and specific rules yet. Reading through the manual almost every other rule has exceptions, or territory specific features, and the NOs likewise are quite involved.

    The map itself, the new units in the roster, and certain rules such as scrambling, tac bombing, airfields and naval facilities don’t seem too terribly onerous by themselves, for a game at this scale… but combined with all the DOW rules, and the associated movement restrictions, and the many many National Objectives that all players have to track… added together with the overall playtime required, and global just seems to get away from itself. I’m interested in any ideas to strip this board down, or to replace specific rules with more generic/general ones to provide a different and more accelerated gameplay experience.

    So far I have seen some ideas floating around that intrigue me…

    -Remove all National Objectives.
    NO ipc bonuses are gameplay drivers, but they also distort the basic value of territories, and they make the initial visual survey of overall economic balance on the map (by ipcs printed directly board) more complicated, since NOs are not written on the board and must be separately tracked by all players. You have to be aware not only of your own objectives in play but also your opponents, for each nation. Taken together that is 28 separate conditions that you have to track. This in addition to the 2 separate victory conditions, for a total of 30 core objectives that need tracking at all times! This is clearly burdensome. My suggestion would be to start with no NOs, and only introduce generic bonuses for balance that work the same way for all player/nations. A Generic bonus might be, bonus X for control of a VC, or bonus X the first time you conquer a territory with a factory on it, or something like that, which is universal on the board rather than territory specific.

    -Eliminate all Declaration of War mechanics. No restrictions on entry by round. Just start the game with everyone at war and the sides (Axis vs Allies) clearly defined. Time in game rounds has always been pretty anachronous and flexible anyway (the way players already regard it in the abstract at least), so I have trouble seeing the real advantage of forcing more nation specific rules and all their attendant conditions into the equation. Total War in 1940 while not exactly historical, makes the gameplay smoother.

    Adjust the turn order, either variable start initiative with a bonus to offset. Or just change the fixed turn order to something that produces balance under the conditions above. Having France go first for example. Or China. Or place China under USA control with income added to USA total, to get rid of China specific weirdness. Combine UK income from both the Europe and Pacific boards to present a single unified economy. Or adjust the location of Major and Minor factories if necessary, or figure out some simplified dynamic for production that works the same for all player nations. Things like that.

    I’m curious if anyone has tried to strip down G40 like this, to see if something more streamlined can be played on the same essential 1940 Europe/Pacific boards, with the same unit roster, placement, and gamemap? I wish there was a map at the global scale, but which was designed as a single stand alone game from the get go, and not as the combination of two separate games. Most of the difficulties in terms of sprawl and game length come less from the map division and the number of player nations than they do from the fact that you are combining 2 gameboards with their rulesets into one thing. USA merged income, or the split on UK forces into UK pacific and Anzac, the over all income distribution and turn order adjustments required etc.

    Ideally the same 1940 Europe and Pacific boards, when combined, should service a Global 1941 or 1942 set up, where all Nations are at war, with only the 6 major player nations: Germany, Italy, Japan vs. USSR, UK, USA in play. Because then we could set up the balance using total war conditions and a simplified start to support reasonable gamelength and less cumbersome rules. The individual Europe and Pacific maps might benefit from all the nuanced rules and NOs as stand alones, but I think from a design strategy standpoint, when combined, a game at the scale of Global (which already has more starting units and more map divisions and more money) would play better if the rules and starting unit set up was more simplistic.

    Just to reiterate, and quote the 1940 Europe manual “Why 1940?”
    Good question, when Global 1941 could just as easily feature a new unit set up, start position, player nations, turn order, conditions of victory etc 🙂

    So far all the suggestions I’ve seen for doing something like this focus on a 1942 start date for the 1940 boards, just seem to replicate much of the rules complexity of regular 1940 global, instead of trying for something more simplified. So I am curious what sorts of things could be done to push the map in the other direction. 1941 seems like the optimal year, since all powers could still be at war, and it hasn’t already been published as an addendum. 1941 (at least since the latest simple starter board) is also the year that seems to signal simplified gameplay. So my request would be for a global 1941 ruleset that combines the two boards, so you could still enjoy and learn about the new units and dynamics, but stripped down in terms of the DOW, NOs, number of player nations etc. for ease of use.


  • It’s a good idea, and I for one would play something like that. To me, 1940 Global is just a badly designed game, with way too many exceptions (NOs among others) that add nothing to the game except for making it more historically accurate. Personally, I don’t want to play a historical game, I want to play a strategy game, and 1940 Global, with all its kinks, just isn’t a very good strategy game. It lacks in simplicity and elegance. A good strategy game (e.g. chess) has few rules and deep strategy, not the other way around.

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

    [Edit: Black Elk, please start by reading the P.S. at the bottom of my post, since I’ve just noticed that you edited your original post.]

    Although the advantages – or, to put it another way, the cost/benefit ratio – of the DOW mechanics is certainly debatable, those mechanics do have a good reason for being there: the fact that Global 1940 has a starting date of early June 1940 (right after Dunkirk) rather than mid-1942 (as is the case in many versions of A&A).  As Larry himself says in the game rules, 1940 is “an interesting time to begin an Axis & Allies game […] with neither the Soviet Union nor the United States as members of the alliance, or even at war for that matter!”  (Nor was Japan yet at war with the UK and the US at that point either, though it was very much at war with China.)  These are more than just an anachronous and abstract considerations; they reflect major stages in the timetable of WWII.

    The Global rules certainly don’t force players to replicate the historical events of WW, but they do channel the players in that general direction via incentives and penalties (like the all-true-neutrals-become-enemies-if-you-attack-one rule, which functions as a very large Keep Out sign) and in some cases via flat-out (or conditional) prohibitions (e.g. “The United States may not declare war on any Axis power unless an Axis power either declares war on it first or…”).  The DOW rules have a similar channeling purpose.  And although the game can take many different unhistorical courses during play (it would be pretty boring if it always turned out the same way), it starts with a setup that does roughly correspond to the actual situation in early June 1940.  This applies not just with regard to who was at war and who was at peace at that moment, but also with regard to which parts of the world were controlled by which power.  A map showing a June 1940 alternate-history world in which all the powers were already at war would presumably look different, reflecting whatever earlier events had led to that state of affairs and whatever territorial conquests had already taken place in the alternate-history war.  That’s the reason the map in the 1942 game looks different from the Global 1940 map: the background events aren’t the same.

    I guess one way to implement your proposed elimination of the DOW rules, while still keeping the actual June 1940 situation as the starting point, would be to have a back-story in which it’s assumed that the USSR and the US are not yet at war with the Axis (and that Japan is not yet at war with anyone other than China) and to have the game open with all the “not-yet-started” wars (for want of a better term) immediately being declared.  In other words, the game would depict the first day of war for some of the player nations, in contrast with the fighting that had already been going on since 1937 in China and 1939 in Europe.  It would be an interesting exercise to figure out what pretext would cause all those supplementary wars would break out simultaneously – but it would be a moot point if it’s not felt that any such rationalization is needed.

    P.S.: I was about to post the above when I noticed that you’d edited your original post to discuss the concept of using the Global 1940 board as the game map but setting it up to replicate the situation that existed in 1941 or 1942.  That’s quite different from what your post originally seemed to be saying (unless I misunderstood it).  I wrote the above on the assumption that you wanted to keep the 1940 setup-up but tinker with the rules in various ways (notably eliminating the DOW rules, which is the part I found conceptually problematic.)

  • '19 '15 '14

    Yeah I couldn’t get my brain to stop, so I started migrating from the idea of OOB set up with a simplified set up, to just using the same two maps combined with a different set up. 🙂

    I see that others have already attempted this, both using 1942 and 41 as models.

    What interests me is the idea of a simplified approach to the rules (Esp. as regards DOW, NOs, and neutrals.)

    I suppose the point about it being basically anachronous is more an attitude from the players perspective, rather than something enforced by rules. It can be roughly simulated in an even more basic way by position in the turn order, since the idea that a game round corresponds to any specific period of time, never really holds up in my experience. Players just adopt a “what if” attitude to the whole war once gameplay starts. I think from a strategy and gameplay standpoint it is better when all player nations behave and move in essentially the same way (according to the same rules) which the DOW distorts. NOs distort as well, because they introduce heavy cash into the equation for specific territories, but only under very specific conditions. Its the “National” part of the National Objectives that I find introduces confusion. More generic objectives would be better in my view, or at least much easier to work with. 5 ipcs seems a bit arbitrary, but since that has been the norm I’d just use it as an example. If you did a bonus by VC instead, +5 ipcs, you could introduce roughly the same amount of money each round but without requiring so much tracking from the players.

    I see the merit of channeling gameplay, but looking at the way it works now, I would say that the rules are forced more than channeled. I like the idea of encouraging certain patterns of play, but I think it would be easier to do this in other ways that are less rules intensive. With generic money over NOs money, or direct IPC adjustment to key territories rather than arbitrarily adjusted at 5 ipcs behind the scenes NOs. I think the new factory rules and the new approach to NO cash bonuses makes the IPC values printed on the game board even less informative now than they ever were before. So I guess when I say stripped down G40, what I am after is a game that uses this same board but in new and novel ways.

    Right now it seems unlikely that I will get another reprint of aa50. Pac and Eur 1940 are thankfully still in print, so for the foreseeable future I think if we’re going to see mods it will have to be on the G40 gamemaps.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Ps. Just to the point about start date or entry ‘vaguely’ corresponding to turn order…

    China, Germany, UK(including Anzac etc)/France, Italy, Russia, Japan, USA/back to China.
    Or if you replace China with US units and Chinese territories under direct US control then just end the round with USA.

    That turn order would, roughly capture a 1940-late 1941 opening round. Like in a movie, the first round is considered a montage that takes you up to entry in the war. So basically the first round covers the whole stretch from the fall of France to Pearl. And the second round and rounds thereafter are just assumed to be in a Barbarossa/Torch timeline until the war concludes. Such a turn order also has the advantage of alternating. To me it seems natural enough to collapse France into the UKs order the same way China is collapsed into USAs. So…

    China (1937), Germany (1939/40), UK/France (1939/40), Italy (1939/40), Russia (1939/41) Japan (1937/41), USA (1941), then back to China. And by the time you’re into the second round, the world is considered “At War!” Make sense?

    This allows for a degree of flexibility with the second sino-japanese war, the early Japanese invasion of Manchuria etc, but still brings everyone up to speed by the end of the first round leading into the second. From there you can basically take it anywhere you want, at a roughly 1941 position. Another way to organize it could be
    China, Japan, UK/France, Germany, Russia, Italy, USA (back to China)
    Or France, Germany, Russia, Japan, USA/China, Italy, UK (back to France).

    Basically paired off into “at war” groups, so whether you open with Germany attacking France, or France attacking Germany, its basically the same for the purposes of a 1939/40 feel. Likewise whether its Japan attacking into China, or China responding to the Japanese invasion, the vibe is still going to be 1937/39. Whether Germany or Russia goes first you can still pin it into 1941, same deal with USA/Japan in 41. So I think any of these game boards could potentially support a variable start idea, so long as the first round order made sense in its alternations. Right now the turn order doesn’t do much to generate that kind of feel.

    G40 has more nations sequenced in the round because of the way Anzac and France are grouped in the turn order, and the order also has the built in Anglo-American 1/2 punch, similar to the older 5 man boards, but unlike the 5 mans this doesn’t accelerate play (like in PBEM) because of the Italian/Anzac break in the turn order. I think 6 positions alternating would be easiest, (collapse all minors with a main nation in the turn order, and avoid the 1/2 punch by having no Main nations follow each other in the turn order.) This would allow you to break the players apart in the turn order the way I did above. Because after the first round France/UK would be effectively a single move, or the same thing with China/USA. Basically they work the way the USA/Russia did in Classic, except that the powers paired together are minor with one of the 6 Main nations, not 2 main nations back to back. Does that make sense?

  • '19 '15 '14

    One final point about why the DOW thing hamstrings the board, e.g. why I would strip it… 🙂

    Traditionally A&A games have started with a specific date in mind and a unit distribution/map that tries to capture the feel of that start date, but (critically!) after the game begins, it is then up to the players’ decision (and not necessarily the history) to determine what happens, the gameplay and the outcomes.

    G40 bucks this tradition, by restricting what the players can do out of the first round.

    For example, what if Stalin decided to break the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact before Germany did? Or What if the USA decided to go to War with Germany before pearl harbor? Or what if Japan decided not to enter into a non aggression pact with the Russians? These are all interesting what ifs that the game might otherwise support, if it weren’t for the DOW aspect. Its one thing to provide an incentive or bonus for doing one thing rather than another, but the game places categorical restrictions on certain actions, which is why I see it as forcing the players hand rather than channeling the gameplay.

    From the way the manual reads, there is a certain sequence of events in mind that are meant to occur, not just likely results from the set up, but a sequence of scripted gameplay actions occurring over several rounds. I think A&A works best when the set up is more free form, with all Nations behaving in the same basic way, from the same basic conditions. If you want to channel the gameplay, then handle that with money incentives rather than rules/combat/movement restrictions. Otherwise you end up with a set playbook that doesn’t really allow for alternative histories or what if scenarios, which was always the promise of A&A to me. Something more abstract, that captured the feel of the start date but not necessarily everything that followed after. Does anyone else get that impression?

    ps. Almost all of what I’m saying comes from my experience of trying to teach new people how to use the 1940 rules. Even people who have played Classic and Revised or the tactical games, when it comes to combining the 1940 maps into Global, I invariably spend more time explaining exceptions to the normal rules, than I do explaining the rules themselves. Also the NOs are major. They dramatically influence the economy of the board. Major and Minor factories likewise make ‘at-a-glance’ surveys of the board difficult for players. Each player has to be aware of all National Objectives, in order to play intelligently. Trying to figure out how much money your enemy gets is just as important as understanding your own objectives, and so everyone has to track all NOs at all times. This seems a lot more complex than the potential alternative of generic bonuses (bonuses that apply to all players the same way, for meeting certain clear conditions.)

    Say for example, that you take Germany’s DOW bonus +5 trade with Russia if not at war with Russia, this is Nation specific. A generic bonus might be something more like +X ipcs when not at war with player Y.

    Or take the bonus +5 for Russia, if Russia is at war, sz125 has no Axis warships (all sea units except transports), Archangel is Russia-controlled, and there are no allied units in any originally Russian territories. A generic bonus might read something more like +5 for VC (Karelia).

    Since the current g40 game doesn’t seem to function all that well without additional money introduced, it seems like you’d need something, but the reason I like a generic bonus is because it could be the same for all players and thus much easier to get your head around. Instead of one player/nation with 6 objectives and another nation with 3, and yet another with 5 more distinct NOs, just have the same type of bonus and the same conditions of bonus for each nation. Then you could at least get the necessary money into play, because right now NOs aren’t optional. Playing the 1940 games without any extra cash busts the set up balance, so you’d need an alternative, I just favor something simple, since there is already a ton of information to keep in your head.

  • '19 '15 '14

    One other final thought (for now) about the reductive approach 🙂

    First, keep the OOB unit set up and roster, use the materials that come with the boards only.

    See if the this set up can work without a DOW mechanic.

    See if the board can support alternative turn orders as a balance mechanism. Ideally alternating Allies vs Axis, 6 man/6 basic positions in the turn order.

    Get rid of all the nuance in the neutral rules (Pro-Axis, Pro-Allies, True Neutral etc.) for something simpler. All True neutrals are considered impassible. All other Pro-Axis/Allies neutrals are considered generic “attack-able” neutrals (i.e. they can be conquered in normal combat by anybody, but only after their armies have first been destroyed.) This would eliminate almost all the complexity around neutrality in the game and make it a very basic and simple to understand system.

    Replace NOs with a generic bonus to money alternative. If you can take 28 specific NOs and replace them with a simple rule like VC +5 ipcs, that would go a long way towards simplifying things. Then if an additional bonus is required, how about just having a few “optional” objectives by side that are easier to remember. 6 NOs for example, would surely be easier to remember than 28. These could carry whatever bonus is required for balance by side (think the +30 bonus for USA controlling W. US in the 1940 Pacific game, but more generic, only if it proves necessary.)

    After this, see if the game can work with the same victory conditions for both sides (instead of different conditions for Axis and Allies.) Finally, test with tech. But before adjusting units or bidding or specific national style HRs to “fix” something, I’d rather see a baseline game on the global map, that works when stripped down to the bones. It would be easier to then build something more complex on top of it if desired. I just think the mapboard itself and the unit roster do plenty already to make the game engaging. If the turn order could be simplified and the rules made more “grab and go” ready to play, I think the 1940 maps are pretty cool when put together.

    I still think for a variable start in the turn order to ever have a chance of working you’d have to group the nations into six positions for G40, probably something like…

    1 Germany
    2 UK+UK Pacific/Anzac/France
    3 Italy
    4 Russia
    5 Japan
    6 USA/China

    But this would require a bonus scheme or some other mechanism for balance. Its also possible to collapse China into full USA control for +12 ipcs and consistency with unit production and movement for all player/nations (something I favor over special China rules, for ease of use.)

    Or, in a fixed start to the turn order, you could split on any of the mixed positions (between minor powers attached to majors) to open the round, and then close it. So for example, if you keep China as a separate power you split on China/USA back to China, or do the same thing on France/UK-Anzac back France to open the game. And it would still preserve the same basic alternating scheme.

    To summarize the above, if drafting a revision it might read something like…

    All player nations are at war from the first round.
    All true neutrals are considered impassible.
    All pro-axis and pro-allies neutrals are considered generic “attack-able” territories.
    There is a +5 ipc bonus for control of a Victory city.
    All units from all nations behave according to the normal rules with respect to movement.
    There are no National Objectives and no Tech. Until game balance is determined.
    National Objectives if included should be 1 per nation (not like six! Haha)

    New rules for Scrambling fighters, Escort Bombing,  Kamakazi fighters, Convoy Zones, Air bases and Naval facilities (and the tactical bombing of Airfields and Shipyards) should all be optional so they can be added in separately at the player’s pace. Added in if desired, by player agreement, but not necessary for the core game to work.

    My argument if I had to make one, would be that the first round while set ostensibly in 1940, really represents a montage of the war covering the whole period from 1939 to 1941 in a single round, such that by the end of the first round all powers are belligerent and the war is considered total! 😉

    To encourage fighting over zero ipc territories, how about something very basic instead of specific NOs? Like +1 ipc every time you capture a territory. Autamically, you take a 1 from the bank if you take a territory. This conquest bonus could be awarded immediately after a successful combat, so you only get it for taking territory but not for just holding it in subsequent rounds. This would give an attack incentive on all territories of the game map, but especially those areas which have no other ipc value.

    That would be a start anyway, so turn G40 into a tiered game where you can add on complexity incrementally instead of all at once. There is already more than enough new stuff to get your head around just in the unit roster the total unit numbers and the map scale, so anything to simplify the other rules at the outset would be helpful.

  • Customizer

    Black Elk, as always good posts! When I have more time I’ll elaborate.


  • I agree that the National Objectives are too much. They should have made the map balanced without NO,s, and then let the NO,s be optional just like in Anniversary 50. If you skip the NO,s now, I figure both Germany and USA will be severely underpowered. Maybe just cut down the unnecessary ones. I never did understand how Germany could squeeze 7 IPC out of Leningrad after they bombed the city, killed all men and burned the land, while the original owner never got more than 2 IPC in peacetime. But that said, its hard to model the Swedish iron ore trade without a NO. And how about USA, should we print new values on the map, or just give USA a wartime bonus ?


  • On Turn orders and DOWs.

    A very old House rule is the All Axis turn, then the All Allies turn. So basically Germany, Italy and Japan purchase units, combat move, resolve combat, non combat move and place units  at the same time. Then all Allies do the same. Now this is a real time saver, and it only take away the dead time when 7 players are waiting bored for one player to do his stuff. But it will affect the tactics, since some players like to exploit the gamey stuff like can openers or reinforce a newly captured territory with other nations fighters. But besides that, the All Axis All Allies turn is very good.

    Now since some players start as neutrals, I suggest this

    All Axis turn
    All Allies turn
    All Neutrals turn

    While not at war, neutral USA and USSR must purchase units and do non combat movement in the All Neutrals turn. After they have been attacked, they move to the All Allies turn for the rest of the game.

    I think all neutrals should be attackable, even the true ones. But Spain, Turkey and Sweden should be cut in several territories, not just a big one. So if Germany attack Western Turkey, then the other parts of Turkey join the All Allies turn. It would be too bad if vital areas and great war contributes like Spain, Turkey and Sweden was impassable just because of simplicity.


  • I have also wrestled with how to simplify G40; I agree overwhelmingly with your opening post Black Elk. I think a G40 that keeps the OOB unit placement but with revised DoW/turn order, NOs is the only way to truly simplify.

    For my house rules I  make 2 main changes:

    1. Eliminate UK 2 economies rule by expanding ANZAC into a player called the Commonwealth (Commonwealth = original ANZAC + South Africa + Canada; updated UK = original UK + UK Pacific territories - UK territories handed to Commonwealth). This also has the bonus of making the Commonwealth a much more interesting nation to play than ANZAC.

    2. Replace all NOs with oil refineries worth 3 IPCs each to boost the value of certain territories. This can also provide an easy balancing mechanism depending on how many refineries you place in Allied vs. Axis controlled territories at the start.

    (Search for the thread ‘Global Streamlined Package’.)

    I haven’t experimented with changing the DoW rules but think different DoW rules in conjunction with the above would complete the simplification for me so would be interested to read further suggestions in that area particularly.


  • Yes, as Spitfired said, UK should be one economy and one player, not 3.

    If UK want to place 10 units in London and none in India, every turn, that should be a decision of the UK player, and not the game designer. I believe they added the ANZAC and Indian players for no good reasons.

    Come to think about it, the facilities can be improved too. We don’t need major or minor IC,s. The classic factory rule, that let the IPC value of the territory decide how many units to place, was good enough. Just fix the IPC values with a pencil. Scotland was never worth 2 anyway.


  • @Narvik:

    Yes, as Spitfired said, UK should be one economy and one player, not 3.

    If UK want to place 10 units in London and none in India, every turn, that should be a decision of the UK player, and not the game designer. I believe they added the ANZAC and Indian players for no good reasons.

    To clarify, I keep ANZAC as a bigger player (renamed the Commonwealth) but do eliminate the UK Pacific/“Indian” player.

    Thus, I operate with 2 players (1. UK; 2. Commonwealth) rather than the OOB 3 (1. UK Europe; 2. UK Pacific; 3. ANZAC).


  • ….and I operate with one UK player.

    UK, Canada, ANZAC, India, South Africa and all colonies are one UK player.

    Its a houserule thread, and Black Elk want a more simple game, not a long and complex one. 9 players don’t make for a simple game, it should be between 2 and 4. All UK nations, USA and China will probably be played by the same person. So why not gather all UK territories into one single UK player ? Why split it up ?

  • '19 '15 '14

    Great feedback!

    I like that oil refinery idea. A generic piece or marker which could stand in as +X for a territory at collect income is a very easy way to keep all this stuff visually out in the open. It also seems simple to implement, which of course is my preference. I might try a rule like that sometime as a NO alternative.

    @Narvik:

    So why not gather all UK territories into one single UK player ? Why split it up ?

    I can also see advantages to using both a single unified British Empire, or a British Empire + Dominions scheme. Either would be an improvement over the current set up which has the UK split into three separate economies. To me it would be cooler if the split was optional. So if you wanted a single UK player (for UK, UK pacific and Anzac) then you could play that way. Or if you want a Commonwealth player then you could just break them off and use the Anzac pieces that come in the box to do this.

    I feel like our Canadian friends especially always get the shaft in A&A. Putting them with the commonwealth gets them into the action in a more independent way, which seems like it could be fun. For the battle of the Atlantic and the Normandy invasion. For me including South Africa with a commonwealth faction makes sense from the historical and gameplay perspective. I could see the advantage of the Eire thing as well, as a mini base staging point, but since it starts Neutral I think its probably easier to stick with the Canadas, Anzacs, and South Africa/SW Africa.
    UK Pacific is 17, Anzac+Canada is 17, so replacing those is a wash. Giving the Commonwealth South Africa/SW is nice though for a functional starting economy at 20, and enough of a production split that they have to choose where to spend/defend. If the UK card read correctly with the wash I’d say forget S. Africa, but since the UK card has to change regardless (if you take away Canada) I say you might was well do it all at once. Its easy enough to split the roundels around.

    There are a fair number of UK control marker that could be used to re-chip the board to include Anzac if desired. Less Anzac chips OOB to re-chip Canada etc. I think if I had my choice I would try to make both options available so that it could be up to the players discretion.

    @SpitfirED:

    I have also wrestled with how to simplify G40; I agree overwhelmingly with your opening post Black Elk. I think a G40 that keeps the OOB unit placement but with revised DoW/turn order, NOs is the only way to truly simplify.

    For my house rules I  make 2 main changes:

    1. Eliminate UK 2 economies rule by expanding ANZAC into a player called the Commonwealth (Commonwealth = original ANZAC + South Africa + Canada; updated UK = original UK + UK Pacific territories - UK territories handed to Commonwealth). This also has the bonus of making the Commonwealth a much more interesting nation to play than ANZAC.

    2. Replace all NOs with oil refineries worth 3 IPCs each to boost the value of certain territories. This can also provide an easy balancing mechanism depending on how many refineries you place in Allied vs. Axis controlled territories at the start.

    (Search for the thread ‘Global Streamlined Package’.)

    I haven’t experimented with changing the DoW rules but think different DoW rules in conjunction with the above would complete the simplification for me so would be interested to read further suggestions in that area particularly.

    ps. Again to the DoW thing, I do think the easiest way to proceed would be to start all nations at war. The 1940 games are the only ones with rules for entry, all other A&A games used a total war start. If NOs and all combat restrictions are removed, then to me it is very simple to just consider “time” in the first round as abstract. I like to think of the Nations as paired roughly according to the situation at various points throughout the year

    Italy and UK-Dominions considered to be vaguely Aug-Nov during the Somaliland campaigns, up to the time of Greece, Battle Britain, and 1941 war with Japan.  France and Germany considered to be June-Sept 1940 on the eve of the invasion of France up to 1941 Vichy and the eve of Barbarossa. Russia and Japan considered to be roughly in the time between the Tripartite pact, Barbarossa to Soviet nap, up to the point of war in the Pacific against US.
    Japan and USA/China are considered to be into 1941 by the close of the first round.

    My brain has no problem at all reconciling these broad strokes with the in game positions of troops on the board at the end of the first round, so long as the action is driving more or less in the direction of 1941 by the second round. This is the sort of thing that would happen naturally anyway, without a DoW scheme in play, since it is the DoW mechanic that restricts US and Russia from moving into a 1941 position for several rounds.

    Basically its like bypassing the first four rounds of a normal G40 game and launching right into the total war midgame without requiring such lengthy build ups. This would give less focus on building out grinding stacks, or waiting around for the Axis to DoW, and instead make the action more immediate.

    Also to the point, if your approach is to collapse the turn order completely into an All Axis vs All Allies turn, then you are already tacitly endorsing a more/flexible condensed sense of time (game time to historical timeline) since its harder to imagine months going by between turns. Instead what you are accepting already, is an abstraction, that the game round corresponds basically to the historical timeline, but doesn’t mirror it in every particular phase, just broadly in the same sort of sequence of events.

    To me it just seems a lot easier, and doesn’t require a particularly crazy stretch of imagination. Once the game starts time progresses at whatever pace the players like to imagine for themselves.

    @Narvik:

    A very old House rule is the All Axis turn, then the All Allies turn. So basically Germany, Italy and Japan purchase units, combat move, resolve combat, non combat move and place units  at the same time. Then all Allies do the same. Now this is a real time saver, and it only take away the dead time when 7 players are waiting bored for one player to do his stuff. But it will affect the tactics, since some players like to exploit the gamey stuff like can openers or reinforce a newly captured territory with other nations fighters.

    The problem with allies fighter camping for defense seems almost intractable. Whether in a normal turn order or a collapsed one, the same issue comes up in practically all A&A games. The movement advantage of the fighter is just too hard for many to ignore. The only rules I’ve seen that have had any appreciable effect are the ones that force players to make harder decisions regarding fighter support. Penalties or restrictions, or taking the unit out of play for a round, or forcing the player to make some kind of defense declaration (where the fighter can either defend or move that round, but not both etc.) Its hard to come up with a system that really prevents Japan or the W. Allies from launching fighters to the Center, since fighter shifting is so powerful strategically, but it would be cool to see if there was some basic rule that could handle that. I just can’t think of one that solves all the problems.

    Perhaps if you had to give up possession of the fighter to your ally, and have it taken out of play for a round (like a lend lease) maybe players would think twice about sending fighters to their “allies”, but then those sorts of rules are open to abuse in other directions. Like just a dozen fighters turning Russia. Or Japan propping up the Luftwaffe. Not really sure what could be done to get rid of that phenomenon, I’ve seen it in play in every game since Classic.

    Probably some economic penalty would be easiest. Similar to the Russian NO in AA50 which encouraged Allied players to avoid parking fighters on Russian land if possible, or face a penalty. Something more generic might be more effective, like if the player pays a continuous penalty. So there is an actual cost to all players for having a bunch of “allies” fighters suddenly show up in their territory. Perceived as like a maintenance thing, or pilot exchanges. Or I’m not sure exactly how you want to interpret it, but basically some built in IPC penalty or cost, aimed at discouraging excessive Fighter camping for defense of your allies. Perhaps both players might face a cost? So something like: negative X ipcs at collect income, for any fighter landed outside a territory you control, and/or negative X ipcs for any friendly fighters on your land.

    Something like that might work, if it was more universal.

    @Narvik:

    Come to think about it, the facilities can be improved too. We don’t need major or minor IC,s. The classic factory rule, that let the IPC value of the territory decide how many units to place, was good enough. Just fix the IPC values with a pencil. Scotland was never worth 2 anyway.

    I agree that it would have been much easier if production matched ipc value, or if the ipc values were distributed differently across the map, but I am the sort who doesn’t like to draw directly on a board. The problem with changing the physical map (for anything) is that fewer players will adopt the rules or have a chance to try them. I tend to favor correctives that use all the same boxed materials and the same physical gameboard whenever possible for ease of adoption. But that is what intrigues me about the idea of a unit which does nothing but represent an IPC bonus meantioned earlier in this thread. Some simple way to alter the printed value on the board up to a new amount, but without confusing it for other purposes, or other possible adaptations. The thing that is unfortunate is that you probably have to introduce a new marker or sculpt, since there is nothing readily available in the box. But still things like monopoly houses, or coins, or anything readily available might work for such a scheme. I think the current factory system is unwieldy, and the ipc distribution doesn’t fit a classic scheme very well, unless you can say that Moscow is worth more than 3 by some mechanism hehe


  • @Black_Elk:

    I like that oil refinery idea. A generic piece or marker which could stand in as +X for a territory at collect income is a very easy way to keep all this stuff visually out in the open. It also seems simple to implement, which of course is my preference. I might try a rule like that sometime as a NO alternative.

    Glad you like it, FYI when we play with this rule we give the following nations oil refineries in these territories at the stated quantities:

    • Germany (1x Germany, 1x Romania);
    • Japan (1x Java, 1x Borneo);
    • UK (1x North Persia, 1x Persia);
    • USSR (1x Caucus, 1x Siberia);
    • USA (6x Central USA).

    We treat them as facilities which cannot be destroyed, only captured, but that can be subject to strategic bombing raids (inoperable at 3 damage points). For markers, we just use some blank factory tokens that came with my copies of G40.

    On DoW, I agree that removing all restrictions and treating the first round as more abstract is an appealing option.

    My only concern is what are the effects (if any) on game balance if you use a G40 SE OOB set up but play with all nations at war from the start? Has anyone done this and if so do you think it is viable? Presumably it inhibits the Axis slightly as 2 extra Allied players can counter them straight away from R1 rather than R3 and R4? Would love to hear some play test feedback on this.

  • TripleA '12

    Black Elk and others; I really like these rules changes. I personally find G40 too confusing as it stands, too many different rule exceptions. And I personally hate the rules concerning Mongolia - there was just no need to make it so complicated, especially when you consider that it’s not even worth any IPCs! I think WOTC really dropped the ball here.

    But anyway, I’m keen to try this new stripped down version of G40 that’s coming together here! I really like the idea of combining South Africa, Australia & New Zeleand, and Canada to form the Commonwealth playable nation. Can anyone please advise me exactly which territories would fall into this faction? So far I have it down as being:

    South West Africa
    Union Of South Africa
    New Brunswick Novia Scotia
    Newfoundland Labrador
    Quebec
    Ontario
    Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba
    New Zealand
    Victoria
    New South Wales
    Queensland
    Northwest Territory
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    New Guinea
    New Britain
    Solomon Islands

    Am I missing any others? Thank you!

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

    @Lozmoid:

    I really like the idea of combining South Africa, Australia & New Zeleand, and Canada to form the Commonwealth playable nation. Can anyone please advise me exactly which territories would fall into this faction? […] Am I missing any others? Thank you!

    For the answer that I worked out for my own customized version of the game map, have a look at the pictures I posted of my map table here…

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=32700.0

    …and look for all the territories on which I put a customized blue-white-red roundel (the largest shot of which you’ll see on South West Africa and the Union of South Africa in the picture labeled “7 Europe Right Panel”).

    Note that I tinkered with some of the British and ANZAC possessions in the Pacific, which are incorrectly attributed on the OOB map.

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