A&A games with regular playing cards


  • 2019 '15 '14

    Playing Cards!  😄

    13 cards to a suit, 4 suits, you know what I’m talking about. The Aces, the Deuces, the Jokers and all the rest.

    This thread is for any ideas about how to use a normal deck of playing cards to expand the various Axis and Allies games. Please feel free to share anything you’ve tried in your own games, or any concepts you’d like to explore on the subject of playing cards and A&A.

    One reason I like this idea is because it could potentially add a secrecy component to A&A. This is probably the main interest I have in exploring the potential of playing cards.

    Right now in Axis and Allies all strategy takes place out in the open. All players are aware of each others income at all times, and all players are aware of each others position and relative attack/defense/build potential in the procession of rounds. Everything is conducted out in the open so there is basically no fog of war component (aside from the fog of not know what you’re opponent will roll in combat). But over the course of several rounds, right now everything is out in the open, on the table. My hope would be that cards in A&A could provide a shadow/secrecy component to the gameplay, even if highly abstracted, so that there is a nod to this aspect of warfare.

    Now the question would be, how to use these cards in game?

    So far I have tried this using one bonus mechanic, across one dimension of the gameplay namely Income. This is what we have tried.

    Income Bonus: Standard deck of 52 playing cards. Aces High

    Each round a Nation will draw 1 card from the pile at the end of their turn. Cards may be exchanged at the beginning of the players next turn for IPCs. These cards are kept hidden (face down) until exchanged, known only to the player who drew the card.

    Deuce = 2 ipcs
    Trey = 3 ipcs
    Four = 4 ipcs
    Five = 5 ipcs
    Six = 6 ipcs
    Seven = 7 ipcs
    Eight = 8 ipcs
    Nine = 9 ipcs
    Ten = 10 ipcs
    Jack=11 ipcs
    Queen =12 ipcs
    King =13 ipcs

    Ace =15 ipcs

    Option: Joker =20 ipcs

    Option: Cards are only awarded if a player captures a territory that turn. Here the goal would be to use this bonus system to provide value to all territories on the gamemap (making even zero ipc territories worth a card.)

    Option: Restrict players to only 1 card in hand at a time
    Option: No restriction on the number of cards in hand (players may save their cards to turn in several at once in subsequent rounds.)

    It functions reasonably well as income bonus mechanic in Revised, AA50, 1942.2, in Global I have tried it in one game so far but the results seemed encouraging. Though I use HRs in Global so the DoW has an effect if you tie cards to the capture of territories. It may also work for 1941, though there the effects on total income would be more extreme.

    To augment the income bonus I have been trying to come up with a way to use these same cards in other game phases. Right now the best candidates in addition to Income, seems to be the Research and Development phase and the Combat phase. I have some simple ideas about how cards might be used for R&D and Combat, but I’d be very interested to hear more thoughts.

    R&D Bonus:  Face cards and Aces which match your side’s Suit may be exchanged for free tech dice. (Instead of Income)

    Axis: Spades, Clubs
    Allies: Hearts, Diamonds

    Deuce through 10 = N/A

    Jack= 3 free tech rolls
    Queen = 3 free tech rolls
    King = 3 free tech rolls

    Ace = 4 free tech rolls

    Option: Joker = 6 free tech rolls

    This is a stop gap solution between using the OOB tech system, and some new HR tech system. Here each face card is worth slightly more on an R&D bonus than it would be on a direct IPC bonus. So there is an enticement to use the money on research if you hit your match by suit. Also, because cards are awarded each round, this mitigates somewhat the “make or break” tech gamble. Instead you receive a more steady supply of potential R&D bonuses throughout the course of the game, so their is less total risk involved in the tech game, and less “throwing the game away” on wild tech gambles.

    This concept is as yet untested, but I think it could work. Another potentially more interesting alternative, would be a new tech system using a random draw with fixed technologies by nation. For this I am watching closely the Fortunes of War deck thread below, to see which ideas could work. In the meantime, if you want to use cards for tech, this is the simplest I can think of right now.

    Combat Bonus: A deuce may be exchanged for a combat bonus (instead of an Income bonus, or an R&D bonus)

    Deuce: +1 attack for a single designated unit during that turn’s combat phase.

    This is way to keep the deuce wild, and to provide it an interesting combat value to make up for its having the lowest value on the income bonus. In some situations where the TUV trade is significant the deuce could potentially be the most valuable card on the draw.

    What do you think so far?
    I’d be interested to hear any ideas people have about how to use playing cards in an A&A game. The combat idea right now is just for the deuce, but I could think of other potential ways to attach a combat value to cards, whether low cards (tied to specific units) or face cards (tied to all units of a certain type.)

    I think it would depend on whether you wish to put the focus of the randomized element on Income, R&D or Combat. Or if you wished to implement any one of these three in isolation. So there the goal would be to have a full trade system for each phases independently (though I think it would be ideal to combine them, into one cohesive system of card trading.)

    Not considered here, but also potentially interesting would be to award more than one card per round. And then grant bonuses based on “Matches or Pairs” by suit or number. But to me it seems simpler to just start with a single card per round, and focus on set values rather than match values.

    How about you guys? Have you ever tried using playing cards in your games, and if so, how so?
    soldiers-playing-cards.jpg
    soldiers-also-playing-cards.jpg


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Black_Elk:

    One reason I like this idea is because it could potentially add a secrecy component to A&A. This is probably the main interest I have in exploring the potential of playing cards.

    Right now in Axis and Allies all strategy takes place out in the open. All players are aware of each others income at all times, and all players are aware of each others position and relative attack/defense/build potential in the procession of rounds. Everything is conducted out in the open so there is basically no fog of war component (aside from the fog of not know what you’re opponent will roll in combat). But over the course of several rounds, right now everything is out in the open, on the table. My hope would be that cards in A&A could provide a shadow/secrecy component to the gameplay, even if highly abstracted, so that there is a nod to this aspect of warfare.

    I very much agree that one of the crucial things about real war (or about true military simulations) which is lacking from A&A is the secrecy factor, or more precisely the elements of concealment, deception and surprise.  The use of playing cards as you’ve described above, however, really has more to do with the introduction of randomness into the game than the introduction of secrecy, which isn’t the same thing.

    From a military point of view, secrecy, concealment and deception basically revolve around misleading the enemy about such things as:

    • The composition of your forces (how many units of which type you have)

    • The location of your forces (where each group of units is situated)

    • The intentions of your forces (who will attack whom at what location, at what time, and in what manner)

    Misleading the enemy successfully about these things can be enormously helpful – sometimes, even decisive – because the achievement of surprise can serve as a force multiplier for your side.  The general idea is to concentrate your forces at a decisive point of the front: ideally, at a location where the enemy is weak, where he isn’t expecting  you, and where a breakthrough by your attacking forces would significantly increase your chances of winning the war.

    One way of simulating this in a wargame is to dissociate the composition and the location of the forces in play.  The classic game Stratego achieves this by using pieces whose location is always visible to everyone but whose individual type is concealed from the opponent until one of his own pieces engages one in combat.  There are hex-and-counter games which use “dummy units” that are moved around the map to make it hard for the opponent to figure out which counter is a real unit and which one is a decoy.  Another trick (in an A&A environment) is to use a variation of the “task force marker” concept for the original Pacific game: the plastic sculpts that are part of a fleet (or an army group) are kept in a group off the board, while a numbered marker on the board represents them collectively.  The original Pacific game didn’t use the system for purposes of concealment – it was just a convenient way to move groups of ships around the map – but it can easily be used with a few adjustments to create concealment.  (I can provide more details if you want; I once discussed this idea somewhere in another thread.)

    The card-based system you’ve outlined doesn’t provide secrecy or fog of war in the sense that I’ve described.  Basically, as I understand it, it’s a system that gives players bonus IPCs on a random basis, and which conceals from the other players the R&D advantages on which those IPCs are going to be spent.  The idea certainly sounds like fun, but as you pointed out yourself (“I think it would depend on whether you wish to put the focus of the randomized element on Income, R&D or Combat”) it’s more a randomization mechanism than a secrecy mechanism.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    Yeah it is tricky, because absent a “hidden forces” marker of some sort to conceal which forces are where, it is hard to simulate a realistic situation. However, what the cards would do here, in terms of secrecy, is still an improvement over the OOB situation. Players would know for example, whether an enemy had a card, but they wouldn’t know for sure (until the card was exchanged the following round before the Purchase phase) how many IPCs exactly that card is worth.  It could be worth anywhere from 2 to 15 ipcs (possibly up to 20 ipcs if the enemy drew a Joker.) These amounts could be potentially significant in terms of purchasing strategy, and the values would be hidden until used. So even if you can’t really mask the position or value of the forces currently in play, you can at least mask the potential value of new units introduced at purchase.

    That’s something at least, better than nothing.

    The combat bonus likewise would not allow you to conceal  the number of units in a given territory, but it would allow you to conceal the actual “full strength” of the units located there.  Since the enemy would not know where you plan to use a Combat bonus until the attack actually occurs and the card is exchanged.

    Again not a full expression of secrecy, but still better than nothing. Also what about this as a possibility…?

    Movement: Bonus
    Another option not considered yet, but also possible might be a movement bonus attached to a certain card for a single unit. This could be restricted to non combat if desired.

    Placement: Bonus
    Still another option, equally possible would be a placement bonus (allowing you to place a single unit in any location where your units are currently stationed, but not revealed until the placement phase.)

    So consider the situation, each player has 1 hidden card per round that could potentially affect…

    R&D
    Income/IPCs (Purchase potential in subsequent rounds)
    Movement (of a single unit in non com, for example)
    Combat (attack potential of a single unit, or specific units/types)
    Or Placement (location of single unit)

    That covers nearly every game phase, providing a hidden card potential for each. Per turn

    Any of these bonuses in isolation wouldn’t be very dramatic for secrecy, but taken together they introduce at least some level of “the unknown” into the conflict. You can still make general plans and formulate general strategies based on what you can see in the open, but you can’t parse out every contingency or sketch out every possibility available to the enemy since you wouldn’t know which random card was in their possession at any given time, or how they might use it.

    The whole thing hinges on the secrecy of the draw. The cards must remain face down until they are exchanged (the following round, in whichever phase the player elects to use them) otherwise you lose the hidden aspect.

    @CWO:

    The card-based system you’ve outlined doesn’t provide secrecy or fog of war in the sense that I’ve described.  Basically, as I understand it, it’s a system that gives players bonus IPCs on a random basis, and which conceals from the other players the R&D advantages on which those IPCs are going to be spent.  The idea certainly sounds like fun, but as you pointed out yourself (“I think it would depend on whether you wish to put the focus of the randomized element on Income, R&D or Combat”) it’s more a randomization mechanism than a secrecy mechanism.

    Perhaps I did not provide an adequate explanation, since I think this point is critical… All Income bonuses are concealed until the card is exchanged.

    This means that at any given point in the game, no player is aware exactly how much money their enemy is holding (provided that enemy has a card). This comes close to fulfilling the first condition you laid out concealing “the composition of forces” at least with respect to purchasing possibilities, or planning your counters to the enemy on the basis of what they have to spend on forces the following round.

    In order to really take it further though, more consideration should be given to combat, movement, and placement advantages.

    I would suggest limiting these to one declared unit per turn, per card (for ease of use.) But other options might also work. By unit type perhaps, or other ways to coordinate between specific units and specific cards. Definitely interested to hear any ideas on this subject. I would stress again that what we are trying to achieve here is the “flavor” of secrecy. Setting a somewhat modest goal here, because it’s important that the gameplay still be accessible and fun (rather than turning into work.) So what I would hope to achieve would be just enough secrecy from the cards to give a nod to that aspect of war,  but without upending the whole design of the game to get there. I think cards could work for this, and provide some entertaining randomization at the same time. What do you think?

    @CWO:

    Another trick (in an A&A environment) is to use a variation of the “task force marker” concept for the original Pacific game: the plastic sculpts that are part of a fleet (or an army group) are kept in a group off the board, while a numbered marker on the board represents them collectively.  The original Pacific game didn’t use the system for purposes of concealment – it was just a convenient way to move groups of ships around the map – but it can easily be used with a few adjustments to create concealment.  (I can provide more details if you want; I once discussed this idea somewhere in another thread.)

    More details for sure! It is definitely a subject of interest.

    Also, while I’m in here finding the right card image to edit/attach with the post…  😄

    I’m also pretty open to baron’s suggestion below, of finding ways to use a card bonus mechanic in the movement phases, the combat move or non combat move. For example, by allowing a unit (or certain unit type, or specific group of units) to move farther than they might otherwise be able to, if the player did not possess such a card. Then, at least in terms of defending against attack, the ‘location and intentions’ of your enemies forces, like their options on purchase, would be harder to read. There’d be that variable in the background, allowing them to get tricky, if they had the right card at the right time, and used it in the right way.

    cards at war.jpg


  • 2017 '16

    About secrecy,
    some cards should allows to move x units of y types in another territory 2 or 3 away.
    No additional units on the board, just change from one place to another.

    This would count as a Fog of War, or wrong intels.
    It’s just a general principle that come to my mind.
    Don’t know if it can be good on pratical terms.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Black_Elk:

    @CWO:

    Another trick (in an A&A environment) is to use a variation of the “task force marker” concept for the original Pacific game: the plastic sculpts that are part of a fleet (or an army group) are kept in a group off the board, while a numbered marker on the board represents them collectively.  The original Pacific game didn’t use the system for purposes of concealment – it was just a convenient way to move groups of ships around the map – but it can easily be used with a few adjustments to create concealment.  (I can provide more details if you want; I once discussed this idea somewhere in another thread.)

    More details for sure! It is definitely a subject of interest.

    Here’s a simple example of how the concealment mechanism I mentioned works.  It’s purely for illustrative purposes, and it focuses just on the mechanism itself without getting into the issue of how to alter the rules to make use of it (since there are lots of ways in which the mechanism could be used).

    The only extra equipment needed to make the system work are a pen, some paper, and some suitable markers.  Various marker types would do, but for this example I’ll use Scrabble tiles.  They’re conveniently sized, they offer 26 possible identification codes (the letters of the alphabet) and each tile is available in multiple copies (at least two copies of each tile being needed).

    Let’s say (purely as an example) that the German player has purchased 10 new tanks and 10 new infantry units and is preparing to deploy them on the game board.  Rather than putting them directly on the map, however, he places them somewhere off the board (any place where there’s some available room; on my customized gaming table, I’d use the table wings).  He decides to put them down in two groups: a large group consisting of 7 tanks and 7 infantry, and a small group consisting of 3 tanks and 3 infantry.  Next to the large group, he places an “A” Scrabble tile, face up; next to the small group, he does likewise with a “B” tile.  All the players can see the composition of these two groups (now designated by the tiles as Army Group A and Army Group B), so at this point we’re still operating in the open-information environment of a normal A&A game.

    Now comes the concealment factor.  The German player secretly writes on his paper where on the map he will place the duplicate markers representing these army groups.  He writes down this information mainly so that he’ll remember it accurately – which would be especially important if the system were used for a large number of army groups and fleets / naval task forces.  Here, for simplicity, we’ll discuss just the two army groups in the example.

    Having written down his intentions, the German player then takes two duplicate tiles (an A and a B tile) and two German territory marker roundels.  Without letting the other players see which tiles he’s handling, he places a roundel over the A tile to conceal the letter and he puts the roundel-and-tile pair on the map territory he has chosen for the deployment of Army Group A.  He then does likewise for Army Group B.

    The other players are therefore presented with the following situation.  They know that the German reinforcements consist of a first army group of 7 tanks and 7 troops, and a second army group consisting of 3 tanks and 3 troops.  They also know that the German player has placed his reinforcents in two territories – let’s say, Poland and Romania.  What they don’t know is which army group went where.  Is Army Group A (the bigger, more dangerous one) in Poland or in Romania?  The answer is hard-wired by the tile-and-roundel pairs on the map (it can’t be changed by the German player, who is now committed to the choice he has made), but it’s unknown to everyone but the German player (because the roundels conceal the tile letters from everyone).  In other words, system separates the enemy’s knowledge of the composition of the German reinforcements from his knowledge of their location.  It’s only at some later point in the game (depending on whatever the house rules specify) that the roundels are removed from the tiles and that everyone can see which army group is located in which territory.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    One extra point I forgot to mention.  When I first thought up the Scrabble tile concept I mentioned, I thought it would suffice to simply put each tile face-down on the map rather than pairing it with a roundel.  I later decided that there were two potential problems with this.  First problem: in a game in which multiple players are putting multiple tiles down on the map, there might be confusion about which tile belongs to which power.  The addition of a national roundel on top of each tile solves this problem.  Second problem: I’ve heard that some devoted Scrabble players are so familiar with the tiles in their games that they can identify face-down tiles from the pattern of the wood grain at the back of each tile.  That kind of observational power boggles my mind…but just to be on the safe side, covering the map tiles with roundels would eliminate this potential problem.  It might still be a good idea, however, to put the map tiles face-down, even though they’re covered, because this would prevent the letters from being accidentally revealed if a covering roundel accidentally gets knocked away by someone’s clumsy fingers.

    When a map tile is finally revealed, and its connection is made to the appropriate group of off-the-board sculpts, I imagine there could be two ways of proceeding.  The map tile could be removed and the sculpts from the corresponding off-the-board group could be transferred to the map to replace it (perhaps with some chips being substituted for multiple identical units to prevent crowding).  This would have the advantage of working in the same way as A&A normally does.  Alternately, the tile could remain on the board as a stand-in for the sculpt group, in the same way that the task force markers from the original Pacific game functioned.  This would have the advantage of compactness and of convenience-of-movement, if that’s a consideration which appeals to particular players.  Either approach would work.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    Fantastic! thanks for the explanation, and this is something I will definitely note and return to shortly. Your concealment system reminds of others I have used before with different games. Like in tactical space games with “Warp Zones” where you know the location of the warp zones, and the composition of the battle groups, but you don’t know which specific group will warp into which zone. The system described above sounds similar, except that in A&A there is the added element that “tiles” are territories with IPC values that affect the gameplay, so what we would need to figure out is which units are eligible for concealment, and the conditions under which a group of units gets revealed, and how often or consistently that happens. So for example, is it only new units purchased, or if units are always revealed when they capture a territory, or if units are automatically revealed after a set amount of time elapses (say 1 game round) or if units can be revealed with “fly overs” or some sort of espionage roll.

    I like how in your system each marker is tied to an actual army group, you might not know which is A or which is B, but at least you’d know that A and B both exist. Otherwise the game could get very complicated very quickly, to the point that confusion could easily overtake the enjoyment. The way the situation was described above, you wouldn’t really have to deal with “phantom” armies, e.g. markers that had no forces attached to them, as I think those would really complicate the gameplay, but instead it would be a question of “We know those forces are out there, but which force is where!?”  😄

    All this certainly seems workable, I think it is more a question of scale. What we would need to do, most likely, in order to prevent total chaos and confusion, would be to limit the eligibility or duration of units that can be concealed. Otherwise I’d be concerned both for table space and the players ability to track information around the board over time. I do like that roundel idea for that reason, as I could see things getting confusing without that information at the ready. But I would still have questions about the full implementation, so for example say we restricted it to one round (on the logic that after a full game round has elapsed the enemy’s spies and intelligence networks could confirm  things on the ground) in that case the concealment would be to the defenders advantage rather than the attacker, the way the Axis and Allies turn order and game phase order works. I’d still need to puzzle it out to see how to integrate this concept with a deck of playing cards. But it does seem like an interesting option to explore.

    For example, if you could tie the concealment ability to a card of a particular number or suit, which would allow the ability to be activated and units to move in secret until revealed. Something of that sort, which might limit the scale of concealment as an aspect of the game, so that it doesn’t dominate the game or require excessive tracking, or change things so dramatically that it turns A&A into an entirely different game. For example say you restricted each player to 4 or 6 markers instead of 26. So rather than the full English Alphabet you could have the first 6 letters, AB, CD, EF, or maybe the first 6 of the greek alphabet each tied to each other in pairs if you wanted… Alpha and Beta, Gamma and Delta, Epsilon and Rho. Something like that, which would limit the overall number of groups that could be concealed at a given time, or to tie the availability of those Lettered markers to possession of a certain card.

    Then you’d have a way to “stage in” the concealment of forces, to test the proof of concept, but without opening the flood gates completely. Still I would be curious to see how it plays. If all new units could be concealed and kept concealed for more than 1 round of gameplay, I can imagine things stacking up to get very complex. I like the idea of limited the number of groups that could be concealed at any given time. I mean even just an A group and a B group each round might be enough. For the “flavor” of secrecy, we don’t need ALL units behaving realistically at all times, to create the kind of fog effect we’re after, just that we enough behaving that way to get the ball rolling, or to test the proof of concept.

    Right now I’m definitely holding this in the back of my mind, to see how such a game might relate to playing cards, if this could achieve the kind of cloak and dagger game with the randomized elements that my friends are always bugging me to come up with 🙂

    Thanks as always for the assist man


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Glad you like the concealment mechanism.  As I mentioned, what I gave above was mostly just a description of the mechanism itself, without addressing the larger issue of how it could be worked into a practical set of house rules to govern its implementation.  I never really got around to working out any specific applications for this mechanism (my objective when I devised it was simply to create a general-purpose tool), so if you or anyone else wants to put it to specific use in a set of house rules feel free to do so.

    One thing’s just occured to me, however.  The example I gave above was simply to illustrate how the mechanism worked, but looking back at it I think it does offer one possible answer for your question about figuring out which units are eligible for concealment.  Perhaps it could apply only to newly purchased units, and perhaps the concealment would only be temporary.  For example, here’s one possibility:

    • The concealment system would be applied only to new units deployed during Phase 5 (Mobilize New Units).  It might perhaps applicable to all of the units deployed in that phase, or perhaps only to a defined percentage of those units.  There might also be a ceiling on how many concealed groups can be created at once – let’s say, a maximum of 5 army groups (on land) and 5 task forces (at sea).

    • Groups would remain concealed until one of the following conditions is met:

    • A concealed group becomes involved in a battle with an enemy force (whether as the attacker or the defender)

    or

    • The player who deployed the concealed forces during Phase 5 of his last turn is about to start Phase 1 of his next turn.  Prior to starting Phase 1, he uncovers all of his concealed units from the previous round of play

    In other words, the concealment factor for any particular group of units would only last for a maximum of one round of play, and less than that if any of the concealed groups get involved in a battle.  So the concealment factor would operate on a rotational basis (old concealed units being uncovered, and new concealed units being introduced) rather than on a cumulative basis (in which the number of concealed units would keep climbing without any upper limit – which as you say would rapidly lead to chaos).

    The system as described doesn’t use playing cards, but if you wanted to create a spin-off version that added a card element you’re welcome to do so.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @CWO:

    Having written down his intentions, the German player then takes two duplicate tiles (an A and a B tile) and two German territory marker roundels.  Without letting the other players see which tiles he’s handling, he places a roundel over the A tile to conceal the letter and he puts the roundel-and-tile pair on the map territory he has chosen for the deployment of Army Group A.  He then does likewise for Army Group B.Â

    One further refinement.  When I talked about the player first positioning the A marker on the map and then the B marker, I should have made it clear that I didn’t mean literally putting them down in that order, since doing so would naturally give away which unit is which.  The player should put all of his duplicate tiles in a cup, shake them to randomize them, then draw them one by one, cover them with a roundel and place them on the map according to his written list.  That way, it will be clear to everyone that the tiles are being placed in a random order rather than in an A-B-C (etc.) sequence.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    This seems like a very interesting system, I’m definitely going to explore this concept with my buddy next time we get a chance. I remember I once tried to play Classic with my friend Oddie using a full fog of war secret move concept. Basically we tried simultaneous phases (ie. all nations purchase at once, then all nations move at once etc.) Roughly modeled things on Risk II’s system (the old cd game by Microprose of the classic RISK boardgame) for “Same Time” Risk.

    We used a screen for each player (similar to the old Dungeon Masters screen, a tri-fold that stands upright.) Purchase was planned, written down, and then hidden behind the screen, not revealed until placement. Movement was written down on an index card and kept secret until both players had recorded all their moves. Same thing for Non combat. It was very important in this case to enforce strict separation of game phases, and to write down everything, which was rather involved.

    For combat we always rolled the “border clashes” first, so if both players tried to move across the same border (territory to territory) then that combat was always rolled first and both sides as if their units were “attackers.” After border clashes was the normal combat phase for all players, at the same time, with standard attack and defense. Going basically from the left of the board to the right in order.

    It was not a terribly successful approach on game balance, since the game is balanced for tbs, but it was fun for a trial. The main issue we had was trying to find a way to take a TBS game, and make it into a “Same Time” game, this necessitates a completely collapsed turn order and more money HRs to work. And after my buddy moved, I just never had anyone around who was motivated enough to try and figure this stuff out.

    Trying to do a Same Time Classic game was also the first one where I ever tried to include variable income bonus rolls, and set bonuses to starting cash. Since the turn order advantage was nonexistent, it was necessary to introduce more money for the game to work on a practical level. Basically finding that if you double the starting cash values for each player, and then randomize bonuses thereafter to about double normal income per round, it gave nations enough money to each to basically counterbalance the effect of trying to do all phases at the same time for each nation. (Since everyone is throwing units everywhere, and since the destroyed TUV in round 1 could then be replaced, later in the game, instead of being lost irreparably in the first round.) It was fun, but required a lot of rethinking, in terms of the basics of how the game operates. The "Same Time idea always seemed a better solution for me than a collapsed TBS order that has all Allies going at once, and then all Axis. Same time had it so that all the purchases, moves, combats and placements occurred at the same time for all Nations.

    The ideas CWOMarc is suggesting seem like they might offer something similar in the way of secrecy, but without requiring the full “Same Time” dynamic, where everyone does the same phase at once. I’m intrigued to try it out.

    As for the cards, I tried my Income bonus rules again last monday, and again I am convinced that Global can support this fairly well. I have yet to introduce the rest of the gamephases into the card game, but feel confident that given the right set up, Axis and Allies can support a random draw mechanic. Just need to keep drafting and testing until I get the right mix


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