Black Elk's Halifax Modification (for G40 beginners)


  • 2019 2015 '14

    Taking off on YGs idea for an expansion, I would like to suggest my own idea for a “simplification” of the core Halifax ruleset.  😄

    This is an alternative set up based off the core Halifax rules outlined by Young Grasshopper, but modified for players who are new to G40.

    I created it for my friends Jen and Tony, who have both played 1942.2 and are familiar with the basics of Axis and Allies, but who are new to the G40 experience. I thought I would share my ideas on how to achieve a simplified game, a bit friendlier to G40 neophytes, in case anyone would like to implement them in games with their own friends. These were the ideas utilized in my game from today. Everything here is designed to make Halifax somewhat easier on newer players by streamlining many complex rules, simplifying the way Nations behave, adding in more bonus money and a few other things, which I have found make the game more entertaining and easier to grasp for people who are coming to this thing straight from the smaller World Theater boards (like Classic, Revised, or 1942.2). It involves some extra steps in the initial set up, which the Game Master is expected to handle beforehand, or to discuss along the way as necessary. Provided here is the step by step process for setting up the game, notes to clarify why I have adopted these particular ideas and explaining why I think they are helpful. I will post some photographs below to take you through it on a visual level.

    Priority number one for this Modification has been to make all Factions behave in the same ways. There are no Nation specific rules here, and all Players/Nations behave according the same consistent game mechanics, with as few exceptions as possible. All National objectives have been replaced with universal objectives, (objectives which are the same for all Nations). We have stripped down some of the more complex mechanics in G40, or replaced them with simpler mechanics, so that players can focus their energy and attention on the expansive Unit Roster in standard G40, to familiarize themselves with the new much larger map, and to get their head around basic strategy on a game board at this scale (with extra money in play, so that they have more freedom to experiment and make mistakes, without torpedoing the game.) While my emphasis has been to help new players get the hang of G40, I also find that this Modification plays more enjoyably for me as well, and I’ve been at A&A games for a while. It is basically a distillation of all my favorite House Rules for A&A brought together in one go.

    First things first…
    Set the board for standard Halifax, Commonwealth Option 2.

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=34111.0

    Core Modifications

    In order to make G40 Halifax play more like its Axis and Allies predecessors, it is first necessary to ensure that all Nations play according to the same essential rules and mechanics. For our purposes this involves a few very important set up adjustments, achieved via Roundel and Unit Substitution.

    Step 1. Eliminate the Declaration of War (DoW) mechanic for all player Nations.
    The political situation between nations will no longer be simulated by a separate game phase. Instead a new turn order sequence of nations will be adopted to simulate the1940 to 1941 period in the first round of gameplay. Place control markers in the following order to track the new sequence as follows:

    Germany, Russia, France, Japan, Britain, Commonwealth, Italy, America* (then back to Germany, repeating in this order each round for the duration of the game)

    *option USA factories to Industrial Complexes immediately (no DoW)

    Step 2. Eliminate China as an independent player Nation.

    All territories with Chinese roundels (and all Chinese units within them) are switched out for American units. Chinese territories occupied by Japan at the outset are considered starting Japanese territories for the purposes of occupation by Allies or liberation by Axis. The starting income of the United States of America is accordingly increased by 12 ipcs, (the value of unoccupied China) for a starting total of 64 ipcs.

    Reason: Complex Chinese rules, while designed with the intention of reflecting China’s pre-industrial character and state of Civil War, are far and away the most confusing for new players. The anomalous Chinese mobilization and movement restrictions provide comparatively little in the way of gameplay excitement when compared with all the rules overhead required. Their lack of a capital, the way they are allowed to place in newly conquered territories, the way they collect income (or fail to), the fact that they use visually confusing units from another Nation (America) to complete their roster, and everything else that makes China entirely different from every other faction on the board, has convinced me they need to go.

    Placing China under direct US control is preferable to expanding China into a complete faction (on par with all the others) both because of the lack of unit sculpts in the Chinese box, and because these territories have been traditionally assigned to the US on most previous boards. Additionally the production limitations on the territories in unoccupied China (IPCs at 1) prevent the US from abusing this position on the mainland with factories, the way they sometimes did in previous Axis and Allies games. The 12 ipcs from these Chinese territories, when added to the American coffers, allows for a stronger US pacific presence, but without distorting the situation in Asia too dramatically. With the DoW removed from the game, this allows for a more entertaining early game for the American player, as they will immediately have battles to wage for the defense of the Chinese interior.

    You can now use the unassigned Chinese infantry units to represent True Neutrals on the game map 😉

    Option: The Burma Road
    While the United States may not purchase any factories in China (according to standard Halifax rules) it is possible if desired, to allow the US player to mobilize Infantry or Artillery units in their Chinese territories along the Burma road. These units may only be mobilized in Szechwan and Yunnan, the two US supported Chinese territories along the Burma road, and are restricted to one unit per territory (matching the ipc value of these territories at 1). Each waypoint along the Burma road (all 4 territories which the red line winds across) must be controlled by the Allies in order for the Americans to mobilize here. If the Axis conquer any of these territories, no units may be mobilized until the road is “re-opened.”

    Step 3. Further Roundel and Unit substitutions.
    For ease of use, no units from separate (ally) Nations will co-locate in the same land territory at the outset. All units within such territories at the beginning of the game must accordingly match the national control marker roundel of the territory.

    Switch out the following units…
    France: the British Tank and Mech become French.
    United Kingdom: the French Infantry and Fighter become British.
    Egypt: the 2 Commonwealth Infantry become British.
    Malaya: the Commonwealth Infantry becomes British.

    Step 4. Assign a Capital to the Commonwealth
    In order for the Commonwealth to function in the same way as all other Nations on the board, they must be assigned a Capital. This may be either Ottawa or Sydney, by player choice or by GM selection. Though I suggest Sydney, as it is more easily contested by the Axis, and provides the Pacific with a much needed 3rd Capital, to compensate for the change on Calcutta under standard Halifax Rules.

    Halifax option 2 Commowealth.jpg
    Halifax option 2 Commowealth China.jpg


  • 2019 2015 '14

    Step 5. Universal Bonuses to Income.

    Eliminate all National Objectives and replace with one or more of the following universal Cash bonus mechanics…

    Reason: In order for G40 to function additional income is required, but rather than several complex National Objectives (NOs) that must be tracked independently, we instead provide players with more general bonuses that are easier to follow. These will be selected at the Game Masters discretion, or according to player preference. The amount of money you choose to introduce will depend on desired gamelength, player skill level, or desire for randomization. Newer players in particular will benefit from increased cash flow, as this will allow them to recover more easily from mistakes, or terrible luck, and to maintain a positive gaming spirit.

    A) Capital Victory Cities provide an additional +5 ipcs to the power that controls them at collect income.

    B) All victory cities now provide +5 ipcs to the power that controls them at collect income. (May be combined with option A for a cumulative bonus of +10 ipcs for controlling a capital.)

    C) Battle Buck Bonus.
    During the combat phase, if a Nation takes a land territory or liberates a land territory for their side, they will be awarded +1 ipc, interpreted as spoils of victory or exploitation following the conquest. In the case of a battle for control of a territory, place 1 ipc to the side of the combat strip before you roll, so all players are aware “just how high the stakes have become!” If the attacker is victorious the buck is added to their pile at collect income, if the defender prevails the buck is returned to the bank, and the humiliated attacker walks away in shame, with nothing!
    😄

    D) Standard Playing Card randomization.

    Take a standard deck of 52 playing cards, separate into 2 piles.
    Axis: Spades, Clubs, joker
    Allies: Hearts, Diamonds, joker

    For each round in which a Nation captures a territory they will draw 1 card from the pile belonging to their side. The numerical value of the card is awarded in IPCs begining with the Deuce up to the Ten. Jack=11, Queen =12, King =13, Ace =15, Joker =20 ipcs

    Step 6. Further Options

    The Soviet Japanese Non Aggression Pact (NAP) and Mongolia

    For this modification of Halifax we will use a very simple NAP mechanic. Whichever nation breaks the neutrality treaty first will activate an economic bonus to the opposite side. The aggressor, by breaking the pact, will activate this bonus in IPCs for the defender. I would suggest a value of 20 ipcs, though the exact value could be flexible, I think it helps to keep it the same for both sides. So here, if Japan attack Russia first, then Russia will receive +20 ipcs from the bank. Similarly, if Russia attacks Japan first, then Japan will receive +20 ipcs from the bank. This is all independent of the situation in Mongolia, which is explained below.

    Mongolia: The rules surrounding this territory will be streamlined. It is now considered a pro-Soviet neutral, which can be activated by Russia, and Russia only! For a memory aid you can place Soviet Roundels upside down in Mongolia, or use specialized markers. If Russia occupies Mongolia, this will be considered “breaking the pact” with Japan, and will immediately activate the bonus for Japan. If Japan attacks Mongolia, then all roundels will immediately flip upright, and Mongolia will join the Soviet Union with all their standing armies. A Japanese attack on Mongolia is likewise considered a violation of the NAP, and will result in the bonus going to Russia.

    Battle Bonus, VC, Capital, Fall of France.jpg
    Peggy.jpg



  • Great expansion Black_Elk… just skimmed over it, but I hope to look at it in more depth when I get home.



  • After your R1 sequence of: Germany, Russia, France, Japan, Britain, Commonwealth, Italy, America, do you revert back to the G40 2nd ed. normal player sequence for R2 and onwards?


  • 2019 2015 '14

    Thanks again guys! And especially to Young Grasshopper for getting this ball rolling 😄

    I was really encouraged by the response of my friends, they have been asking me for a while to play “on the big map! With all the cool units!” But when I sat them down and started explaining the various differences between Revised or 1942 sec edition, or AA50 (which Tony has played before a good half dozen times) I started catching a lot of puzzled looks. A lot of “why?” questions. At first I was fielding these out of the rulebook, but even then, I could tell that the enthusiasm for “the big map” and “the cool units” was being overshadowed by the rules. I caught myself at several points noting the specific things that they found confusing, and discovered pretty quickly that it was not so much the scale of the map or the unit relationships that they found intimidating,  but rather things like Politics restrictions, or “exceptions” to the rules with which they had already become familiar in other games.

    Things like airbases, naval facilities,  tactical bombers and Mech infantry, Convoys, new Nations, the basic rules for friendly and unfriendly neutrals etc. were all surprisingly easy for me to introduce and for them to grasp. As long as the same rules applied to everyone! And that is the critical point. What stalled things was when I had to stop and say, “well this is a special case” or “it works like that for everyone except you” hehe. That’s when I started to realize that it was possible (and probably a lot easier) for me to just make a few relatively straightforward changes in the way G40 plays, to create something a bit more in line with their expectations from previous games.

    I understand of course that for many of us, who are already very familiar with the latest A&A rules, that the unique rules in G40 can add an interesting dimension to the game. And one could make the argument, that people who aren’t ready for G40 should just stick to the simple boards. But I think that does a disservice to otherwise excited new players, who are intrigued by the large map, the new factions and new units, but just don’t have the stomach for all the exacting detail and National nuance that 1940 seeks to introduce.

    We found that taking an extra 30 minutes beforehand to reset and adjust a couple elements, dramatically increased the speed with which we were able to get the game underway. A lot less time referencing the manual, less stress with tracking stats and a lot more time for battles, historical banter, and play!

    Put simply, I have discovered that when you expand the economy for everyone equally, newer players feel a lot let less pressure to make “the right buy” and they are more likely to have fun while they experiment and learn, instead of getting frustrated by their “mistakes.” Basically the way I set things up with bonuses, everyone has a pretty decent pile of loot as they enter the second round. Depending upon how many Cash bonuses you want to use you can take the economy of a given nation up from about + a third of normal income, to about double the normal IPCs. And you can get the money very close to what the OOB game produces with National Objectives, but with mechanics that are a lot more user friendly and easy to track.

    Its also very important to me that players of different skill levels be able to play Allies, and not always get stuck playing Axis. I have found that many people, and especially new players, often wish to play Allies and seem disappointed at the suggestion that they “should just be Axis, because Allies will be too difficult.” This is something which I think the rules modification above aims to correct as well. Especially with Cash bonuses in play, players on both sides should have plenty to work with, and the rules for Allies should be much easier now that all Allied Nations behave the same way.

    Of course there may be others that could work well also, but hopefully the ideas in this thread can serve as a springboard for others to try adapting G40 Halifax to suit the needs of their specific game group.  
    😄

    @SpitfirED:

    After your R1 sequence of: Germany, Russia, France, Japan, Britain, Commonwealth, Italy, America, do you revert back to the G40 2nd ed. normal player sequence for R2 and onwards?

    Oh that is a great question SpitfirED! In all my games I use roundels to define the “standard” turn order, whatever it is for that particular game. I do this so that it is easier for players to see the turn order at a glance, as it helps them to track the sequence when laid out with a visual. So in this Modification the new order in the first round will repeat in every round thereafter, until the game concludes.

    The reason for the specific turn order here has to do with the removal of the DoW, and the implementation of China under US control,  as well as for general game flow. The order is meant to simulate a game round that has the feel of 1940 at the outset, but which quickly moves into a more familiar 1941 arena, such that by the end of the first round you are basically up to 1941 Total War conditions. When we play, the first round is considered 1940-1941. So for example,  everything Germany does in the first round is considered “the action” for that year.  Basically as if you were watching a film reel. After the first round time is considered fairly malleable, meaning their is no strict analog between real time and game time, beyond a general start date. The logic here is that the set up and the first round always take the longest, and so it’s easy to imagine that the first hour of gameplay is simply “setting the stage” for the game.

    Subsequent rounds move much faster (as we all know) so every round after the first round has a more flexible narrative, for the story which players can adopt or play out in terms of the timeline. So round one is a montage taking you from 1940, up to the entry of Russia and the United states into the war. The Political situation is expressed more through the turn order and relative strategic position/strength of the warring powers,  rather than something strictly enforced by the rules. The cash bonuses also play into this, because all nations head into the second round with more money on hand than they possessed in the first round, so the main action in the second round is considered to be basically 1941 with all Nations as belligerents and part of an alliance (either Axis or Allies.)

    In addition to this, the turn order is also designed for optimal flow, in that the two smaller Allied nations follow a larger Allied Nation in the turn order. In this case France follows Russia,  and is relatively simple to play out. Though unlike the OOB turn order, the French now have a chance to move before Italy completely destroys all their forces in Southern France and around the Med. Likewise the Commonwealth follows Britain, and is fairly quick to play. China is now directly US supported, so this final turn is also streamlined, but unlike OOB, where the end of the round can feel somewhat anticlimactic, now Germany follows the US. Or put another way, in this turn order, right after US closes the current round, Germany will open the next round, so there is always a lot of action to clearly demarcate the succession of game rounds, and to ensure that the action keeps a gripping pace.

    So Germany, Russia,  France, Japan, Britain, Commonwealth, Italy, America… and then back to Germany (repeat.)

    I have found this to be the ideal order for a game where the DoW is absent, since it still gives the flavor of the start period, but without all the complex rules for “entry” into the war.

    Optional: the Soviet Japanese NAP.

    Option A) The only rule I would suggest, if you want to give a nod to the Soviet Union Japan Non Aggression Pact, is an adaptation of YG’s simple Mongolia rule. In this case whichever Nation (Russia or Japan) attacks the other first, will activate Mongolia for the opposite side. So if Russia attack Japan first,  Mongolia becomes Japanese, if Japan attacks Russia first then Mongolia becomes Russian.  This rules would be strictly optional, at the GMs discretion or by player preference.

    Option B) An alternative way to approach the NAP, which doesn’t require Mongolia, is to instead provide a 1 time bonus to income. So for example, if Japan attacks first then Russia gets X ipc. If Russia attacks first then Japan gets X ipcs. The amount you choose to award could be adapted by the GM, depending on how strictly you want to enforce this aspect of the game. I suggested 20 ipcs, as large enough to provide a deterrent, but not so large that you effectively shut down the front. The IPC value of all units in Mongolia is currently at 18 ipcs (6 ipcs worth of units) but their strategic value is harder to express. In one instance their position might advantageous, in another it could be disadvantageous. By simplifying the rule down to just hard IPCs, you can get around a lot of the complexity, while still preserving the essential character of the NAP.

    Thanks to CWO Marc for providing some insightful commentary below, regarding the pro-Soviet nature of Mongolia, and why it is somewhat historically unrealistic to have them aligning with Japan. Option B above I think provides a way around this, while still giving the GM some flexibility to implement a NAP (or not) and how that might be achieved without a DoW mechanic.

    NAP.jpg


  • 2019 2015 '14

    Option: Simplified Convoy Raids

    Convoy Raids are conducted by submarines only, on the attacking player’s turn. So for example, if Germany is running a convoy raid against a sea zone off the coast of Halifax, this raid occurs on Germany’s turn! Any submarines conducting a raid may not participate in normal combat, you must choose beforehand whether to send them into normal combat or to conduct a raid. These attacks are similar to a Strategic Bombing Run (SBR) or a rocket attack, they are conducted against the convoy space directly.

    The defending Convoy zone may roll 1d6 for “convoy defense”, similar to an AA gun. The Convoy defendse hits at a 1, and may defend against a maximum of 3 submarines. So in this case, if Germany were to attack with 4 or more subs, then 3 of them would have to face the “convoy defense” while the rest get in clean. Any subs which survive get to roll 1d6 against the convoy space “A raid”. The amount rolled is removed directly from the enemies income. The total value of a convoy is capped at the value of the IPC value of all territories adjacent to it.

    Reason:  OOB convoy raids are pretty confusing, it is the only “attack” that is run during an opponents turn rather than your own, which breaks with A&A convention. This is just bizarre and difficult to explain. Rather than use an entirely new mechanic, we adopt a familiar one (Strategic Bombing) but put it to use in the water. Only subs are allowed to run Convoy Raids (not warships!). This is for several reasons. First because the submarine is under-powered relative to the destroyer in OOB g40 anyway and this role “the convoy raider” would provide a corrective and make the disparity less stark. Second because submarines have unique movement and diving abilities which make them particularly well suited to this role. Finally, because subs are relatively cheap, players are more likely to “risk them” on raids, in the same way that players are more willing to risk inexpensive bombers on strat bombing (relative to say, the old Classic bomber that cost 15.)

    The Convoy defense Roll, by firing against a maximum of 3 subs (similar to aaaguns) encourages wolf packs. While also providing the Convoy defender with a much needed way to answer the “Raid” directly, outside of just destroying the subs in normal combat, since the economic impact is potentially significant. IPCs being removed directly demands a system like this, in order to prevent abuse.  With this simple implementation of a new approach to sub raids, you can create a special strategic value for all these convoy zones. This would be the only way to directly effect an enemy’s cash reserves (all other mechanics have a purchase/repair system), whereas subs would behave like the old Bombers of Classic. They remove IPCs from the enemy’s pocketbook, forcing them to return that money to the bank. This convoy mechanic uniquely provides a way to effect what purchases could be made by certain powers in the first round, if for example, u-boats are used in raids rather than normal battles. The overall Cash is more abundant in this Halifax Modification, so there is plenty of flexibility to provide a mechanic of this sort (the old style direct removal of IPCs raid), to compliment the Strategic Bombing aspect of the normal G40 game. This rule works in a familiar way, but finally gets subs doing real economic damage in the deep water, briny blue!

    Thanks for Der Kuenstler for reminding me about this important issue in his post from earlier today. 😄

    subs convoys.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Black_Elk:

    Option: Mongolia and the Soviet Japanese NAP.
    The only rule I would suggest, if you want to give a nod to the Soviet Union Japan Non Aggression Pact, is an adaptation of YG’s simple Mongolia rule. In this case whichever Nation (Russia or Japan) attacks the other first, will activate Mongolia for the opposite side. So if Russia attack Japan first,  Mongolia becomes Japanese, if Japan attacks Russia first then Mongolia becomes Russian.  This rules would be strictly optional, at the GMs discretion or by player preference.

    Personally I’d never exercise this option because it’s inconceivable that Mongolia would ever become Japanese.  The Mongolian People’s Republic, or whatever it was called, was basically a regional franchise of the Soviet Union.  I was very happy when I recently discovered that HBG, which already produces Pro-Alllied, Pro-Axis and Neutral territory markers, had added a new Pro-Soviet marker to its line-up because that’s a perfect description of what Mongolia’s status actually was.


  • 2017 2016

    @Black_Elk:

    Option: Simplified Convoy Raids

    Convoy Raids are conducted by submarines only, on the attacking player’s turn. So for example, if Germany is running a convoy raid against a sea zone off the coast of Halifax, this raid occurs on Germany’s turn! Any submarines conducting a raid may not participate in normal combat, you must choose beforehand whether to send them into normal combat or to conduct a raid. These attacks are similar to a Strategic Bombing Run (SBR) or a rocket attack, they are conducted against the convoy space directly.

    The defending Convoy zone may roll 1d6 for “convoy defense”, similar to an AA gun. The Convoy defendse hits at a 1, and may defend against a maximum of 3 submarines. So in this case, if Germany were to attack with 4 or more subs, then 3 of them would have to face the “convoy defense” while the rest get in clean. Any subs which survive get to roll 1d6 against the convoy space “A raid”. The amount rolled is removed directly from the enemies income. The total value of a convoy is capped at the value of the IPC value of all territories adjacent to it.

    Reason: OOB convoy raids are pretty confusing, it is the only “attack” that is run during an opponents turn rather than your own, which breaks with A&A convention. This is just bizarre and difficult to explain. Rather than use an entirely new mechanic, we adopt a familiar one (Strategic Bombing) but put it to use in the water. Only subs are allowed to run Convoy Raids (not warships!). This is for several reasons. First because the submarine is under-powered relative to the destroyer in OOB g40 anyway and this role “the convoy raider” would provide a corrective and make the disparity less stark. Second because submarines have unique movement and diving abilities which make them particularly well suited to this role. Finally, because subs are relatively cheap, players are more likely to “risk them” on raids, in the same way that players are more willing to risk inexpensive bombers on strat bombing (relative to say, the old Classic bomber that cost 15.)

    The Convoy defense Roll, by firing against a maximum of 3 subs (similar to aaaguns) encourages wolf packs. While also providing the Convoy defender with a much needed way to answer the “Raid” directly, outside of just destroying the subs in normal combat, since the economic impact is potentially significant. IPCs being removed directly demands a system like this, in order to prevent abuse. With this simple implementation of a new approach to sub raids, you can create a special strategic value for all these convoy zones. This would be the only way to directly effect an enemy’s cash reserves (all other mechanics have a purchase/repair system), whereas subs would behave like the old Bombers of Classic. They remove IPCs from the enemy’s pocketbook, forcing them to return that money to the bank. This convoy mechanic uniquely provides a way to effect what purchases could be made by certain powers in the first round, if for example, u-boats are used in raids rather than normal battles. The overall Cash is more abundant in this Halifax Modification, so there is plenty of flexibility to provide a mechanic of this sort (the old style direct removal of IPCs raid), to compliment the Strategic Bombing aspect of the normal G40 game. This rule works in a familiar way, but finally gets subs doing real economic damage in the deep water, briny blue!

    Thanks for Der Kuenstler for reminding me about this important issue in his post from earlier today. 😄

    I provided an answer to DK, I hope you will read.

    I think you should use this mechanics instead:
    Subs can either attack or Convoy Raid, but if there is no Destroyers in the SZ, there is no escort roll for Convoy.
    When there is DDs, each DD get a one time shot @2 (because DD A2 D2 M2 C8).
    Remove casualties (or let the Sub roll a defense @1 instead of an attack @2 before dying).
    Proceed to damage, by rolling D6+2 for each surviving Subs.
    More destruction because their is more risks against a DD.
    Same damage rate than with SBR. (More streamlined.)


  • 2019 2015 '14

    @CWO:

    @Black_Elk:

    Option: Mongolia and the Soviet Japanese NAP.
    The only rule I would suggest, if you want to give a nod to the Soviet Union Japan Non Aggression Pact, is an adaptation of YG’s simple Mongolia rule. In this case whichever Nation (Russia or Japan) attacks the other first, will activate Mongolia for the opposite side. So if Russia attack Japan first, � Mongolia becomes Japanese, if Japan attacks Russia first then Mongolia becomes Russian. � This rules would be strictly optional, at the GMs discretion or by player preference.

    Personally I’d never exercise this option because it’s inconceivable that Mongolia would ever become Japanese.  The Mongolian People’s Republic, or whatever it was called, was basically a regional franchise of the Soviet Union.  I was very happy when I recently discovered that HBG, which already produces Pro-Alllied, Pro-Axis and Neutral territory markers, had added a new Pro-Soviet marker to its line-up because that’s a perfect description of what Mongolia’s status actually was.

    Interesting point. Well how about this for another approach, still relatively easy but closer to the historical/political situation? If Russia attacks first then Japan gets 18 ipcs, or 6 infantry to Mobilize in Manchuria (or whichever mainland territory is closest to the front.) This would at least be a roughly equivalent to value of the Mongolian troops, while still preserving the pro Soviet aspect of Mongolia.

    Or perhaps even more simplistic, just remove Mongolia from the equation entirely. If Russia attacks first then Japan gets 20 ipcs. If Japan attacks first then Russia gets 20 ipcs. This way the consequences are exactly the same for both players, and rather than forcing players to use Mongolia,  they could just mobilize at their normal facilities. This prevents a clean sweep attack, where one side just crushes Mongolia in a coordinated strike. Its easy to read, and from a gameplay standpoint makes the NAP mechanic a bit more significant. In fact, I think I prefer this approach, I will edit the post above to accommodate more flexibility with the NAP. Thanks CWO Marc for pointing this out.

    Its important to keep in mind that if you want the NAP to work (outside of a hard rules restriction) then you need to give it a reward/penalty aspect. Whatever the real logic in warfare regarding “surprise attacks” or “breaking alliances” I think it makes sense to penalize the attacker, and reward their opponent, as the only way to really encourage the maintenance of the pact. In this instance the penalty to the attacker is the reward to the defender. So we keep it nice and tidy.

    You could conceivably design things the other way around, a direct cost in IPCs to the aggressor for example, but somehow that feels a bit less gameful. By rewarding the defender, as a way to penalize the attacker, you create a kind of “casus belli” situation, where players could imagine the money is coming from war bonds or increased military spending following the surprise attack. I’m anticipating the response “but isn’t this like creating money out of thin air,” well yes it is, but we have been doing that all over the place in A&A for years. So this doesn’t strike me as all that different 😉

    I think the geography and strategic position of troops between Russia and Japan already does a lot to discourage immediate fighting in the north, but with a Moscow endgame, a broken NAP is basically unavoidable. Russia doesn’t have a whole lot of incentive to attack Japan, but Japan has a fairly substantial incentive to attack Russia. That’s why I suggest a NAP at 20 ipcs awarded to the defender, so if you attack, in practical game terms, it’s like buying a battleship or pair of fighters for the enemy. In other words, “it better be worth it” and part of the plan, not just some casual decision on the part of Japan, made even more obvious by the need to crush Moscow to have any hope of winning. I mean as far as I’m concerned, the whole reason the DoW was introduced in the first place was just to get a kind of “neutrality pact” going on, specifically for Russia, but also for the United states delayed entry. A simpler system like the one above, would provide the same essential flavor, but without requiring any hard rules restrictions about movement or combat the way the DoW does, its basically just a giant carrot that gets used as a stick hehe.

    The whole incentive/disincentive to attack in these instances should be economic, handled with IPCs, not categorically determined or denied, and not built out as whole separate game phase, but just something made “more or less” likely by the fact that there is this reward/penalty aspect going on. Does that make sense to you guys? Because it makes a hell of a lot more sense to me, at least in a game. But again, I prefer this as an option, something you could choose to explore or ignore at the players preference, or at the GMs suggestion. I keep coming back to that simple phrase for a reason  😄

    @Baron:

    I think you should use this mechanics instead:
    Subs can either attack or Convoy Raid, but if there is no Destroyers in the SZ, there is no escort roll for Convoy.
    When there is DDs, each DD get a one time shot @2 (because DD A2 D2 M2 C8).
    Remove casualties (or let the Sub roll a defense @1 instead of an attack @2 before dying).
    Proceed to damage, by rolling D6+2 for each surviving Subs.
    More destruction because their is more risks against a DD.
    Same damage rate than with SBR. (More streamlined.)

    Oh cool Baron,  I’ll have a look. That is an interesting approach there with the 1 time shot of the DD 🙂
    Thanks for the heads up.

    Basically as long as it’s simple, and doesn’t break the convention of “attacks occur on the attackers turn” I’m fairly open to different ideas. Just wanted to provide a simple suggestion like the one I ended up using with my friends. One thing I would prefer to avoid however, is any major substantive changes to the units in the unit roster (things like cost or unit pairing in combat etc). Part of the idea behind simplifying other aspects of the game, is to allow sufficient room for players to grasp the unit roster that is already in place. There is nothing to prevent you from introducing other HRs on top of this game set up as desired, but ideally I would like to build around the OOB unit abilities when possible, so that it can be as accessible as possible.

    In this Modification I have tried to keep the visual information on the map essentially in tact, using only the Control Marker Roundels and VC bonuses to make what I regard as the necessary adjustments. If something is drawn on the map already, then of course I would prefer to find a way to use it, so that when players ask “What’s that red line?” or “what’s that red dot” you are prepared with an answer and a gameplay aspect to explore. When it comes to Convoys, I like to have a system in place. I just think that the current way convoys are handled is very confusing. It doesn’t match up very well with the expectations coming from the rest of the game (or from previous A&A games.) Even convoys in the older Pacific game from the previous decade. I’d like to get them working, and I’d like to supe up the subs a bit by using the Convoy zone, but I’m trying to steer clear of direct modifications to the Unit Roster or Unit rules. At least for now.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I’ll leave aside for the moment (and return later to) the question of how all this all this could be depicted in an A&A house rule, and concentrate for now on the actual historical situation.  I commented in my earlier post the Mongolia would never have “gone Japanese”.  I should also have said that the USSR would never have attacked Mongolia.  It had no reasons to do so, and good reasons not to do so.  The USSR had installed Mongolia’s Communist regime in the late 1920s or early 1930s, so ideologically the two states were very cozy.  One might even go so far as to call Mongolia a Soviet puppet state, although that’s perhaps overstating it.  The USSR fought alongside Mongolia against Japan in the border wars of 1938 or 1939, and Mongolia returned the favour by helping the USSR invade Japan in August 1945.

    Mongolia did nominally remain neutral for most of WWII, but my argument would be that simply by doing so it was helping the USSR because it acted as a buffer state between a large part of the USSR and Japan’s conquered territories in Northern China (such as Manchuria).  This benefited the USSR because it didn’t have to keep as many troops in the east as would otherwise have been the case.  A Soviet invasion of Mongolia, by contrast, would have brought a big part of the Russian border right up against the border of Japanese-occupied China, thus requiring Russia to commit troops to border defense in the east who would have been far better used fighting the Germans on the western side of the Soviet Union – so it would have been very counterproductive for the USSR to seize Mongolia.

    How should this be represented in A&A?  I can’t think of a definitive answer, and frankly it depends on what the goals of the rules (official or house) are.  Based on the precedent of the official rules that govern pro-Axis and pro-Allied nations in Global, one could argue that Mongolia should have a pro-Soviet status that works similarly: the USSR can basically take control of Mongolia and take command of its standing armies, without suffering any negative consequences; Japan, on the other hand, activates Mongolia as an enemy if it invades it.  Mongolia being pro-Soviet rather than pro-Allied, no Allied country other than the USSR could take control of Mongolia peacefully.  And realistically (as, in my opinion, would be realistic in all multi-territory pro-Allied countries), invading one part of the country should turn the whole country against the invader, not just the invaded part.

    That would be the most historically accurate option, in my opinion.  Is is the most desirable option in terms of game balance?  Maybe, maybe not.  Mongolia has no IPC value, so controlling it has no benefits or drawbacks in that respect, but it does have a total of 6 standing army units, so that’s a useful addition for the USSR if Russia takes over the country.


  • 2019 2015 '14

    This is an excellent overview! I actually think this treatment of Mongolia would be preferable. It was clearly designed as a special case, since OOB it is the only True neutral type territory on the board that is divided up so heavily. I would suggest then that players could use a Pro-Soviet idea for Mongolia like the one CWO Marc just outlined above. The set up change is fairly simple. Just like everything else in the Halifax rules above, we will use roundel replacement to accomplish our goals.

    Russian roundels will be placed “upside down”, in each Mongolian territory.

    Mongolian territories are considered “Pro-Soviet” neutrals (as compared to pro-allied neutrals) meaning that in this case the United states could not activate them. If Russia enters a Mongolian space, the Russian roundel is returned to its upright position.

    If Russia is attacked by Japan, then all Mongolian roundels flip upright. This could all operate independently of the basic rules for the Non Agression Pact. In other words, I would suggest that you still provide a simple economic reward/penalty system for the NAP. If Japan attacks Russia first, then Russia gets X ipcs and if Russia attack Japan first then Japan gets X ipcs. This would still be necessary, because in the situation outlined above, Mongolia essentially serves as a benefit to Russia and does very little to benefit Japan. Basically its like a dueling puppet show 😄 Japan has their own forces firmly grounded in Manchuria/Manchukuo, while the Russians have their Pro-Soviet buddies in Mongolia. Here everything works out reasonably well for game balance, and isn’t too terribly complicated. It provides a compromise over the OOB situation that is fairly simple to grasp.

    What do you think? I think the upside down Soviet Roundel is pretty easy to implement, of course if you had a special marker for Mongolia you could use that, but this gives a simple way to handle it all just with roundel replacement.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Black_Elk:

    Russian roundels will be placed “upside down”, in each Mongolian territory.

    Alternately, HBG’s Pro-Soviet markers would work nicely too:

    http://www.historicalboardgaming.com/HBG-Territory-Marker-Acrylic_p_1116.html


  • 2018 2017 2016

    I’ve always wanted Mongolia to be pro-Soviet, on the condition Soviet activation of any Mongolian TT is seen as an act of war by Japan.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @General:

    on the condition Soviet activation of any Mongolian TT is seen as an act of war by Japan.

    Good idea.  I imagine that in real life Tokyo would have considered such a move as highly provocative, so that fits nicely.


  • 2019 2015 '14

    Makes a lot of sense to me, so under the situation outlined above direct Soviet occupation of Mongolia would be considered a violation of the NAP by Russia. At which point the GM would award Japan with whatever bonus conditions were determined before the game began. I like it


  • 2019 2015 '14

    Here is a saved game “rough draft” edit of the China set up above, for use with TripleA. Right now it uses the standard turn order, but that can altered if desired. All edits to achieve the set up are logged in the game history.

    Note how China is no longer a separate nation but instead placed under direct USA control.
    Check the stats column for the total Money, Production, and TUV for the United States.

    Burma units may be edited into the appropriate territories per the rules above.

    There are no co-located units here, all roundel substitutions in play according to the rules above, including for the Commonwealth (represented here in the save edit by ANZAC at 20, Eire south Africa etc.

    It is up to the player to enforce the production rules via the edit mode, or to adjust territory possession as necessary (in the case of liberated territories). Example if Japan takes Hunan, and the Americans then liberate it, the game will show Hunan as Chinese, edit possession back to United states. The same thing for the Commonwealth, or if UK pacific territories reappear after conquest/liberation, edit them back to the appropriate power. Otherwise it works as normal, just remember to enforce the factories at 10, 5, 3.

    Edit any Soviet Japan Nap conditions you wish.

    If no DoW is desired, then you can have all Axis declare in the first round.

    VC or Combat bonuses may be edited into the IPC totals at the end of the turn to augment or replace NOs if desired.

    Savegame attached below… the next step would be to create an xml gamefile reflecting the new production units, and the Commonwealth faction (while removing UK pacific and China). Eliminate the politics phase, and create a simple NO option on the VCs. Adjust the turn order to the one outlined above.

    Halifax china mod no-colocation.jpg
    G40 Halifax 2 China to USA.tsvg


Log in to reply
 

Suggested Topics

  • 4
  • 5
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • 3
  • 16
  • 8
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

30
Online

13.7k
Users

34.0k
Topics

1.3m
Posts