Variant for History Buffs Under Development



  • Here is a variant which would add historical realism and enable several key historic events to occur.  This is under development, so looking for advice from experienced Global 1940 players.  I would really like to hear from anyone who can/has play tested aspects of this variant.  The aspects are as follows:

    1. All Aligned Nations Have Simultaneous Play
    This aspect opens up the possibility of some key events.  Also, it makes the game much faster and more enjoyable for some of the patience deficit friends I play with.  The turn order and rules would be:
    a.  All Axis aligned nations play simultaneously:  Italy may not attack US/UK/France/Russia on R1.  They may attack neutral, allied neutral, or incorporate Axis aligned nations.
    b.  All Allied aligned nations play simultaneously
    c.  All neutral countries play simultaneously:  For R1, this is the U.S. and Russia if they haven’t been attacked.

    2.  Maginot Line
    Germany purposely went around the Maginot line.  They only attacked the line after the war had been decided.
    a. For this rule German land units can only attack France through Belgium.

    3.  French Unit Alignment After the Fall of France
    During the war, French units fought with both sides.  This also opens up the possibility for some realistic historical events (such as the controversial British air raid on the southern French fleet after France fell).
    a.  For this rule, after France falls, their units are unaligned, unmovable, and could be co-opted: they would defend with a roll of “1” in situations where the attacker doesn’t want to or cannot incorporate them.  Any side that ends it’s combat movement with combat units sharing a sea zone or territory with isolated French units incorporates those units to their side.  To represent the diplomatic relations, the French units would be controlled by an aligned nation’s player from the Pacific board, not the one who incorporated the French units.  
    b.  French units already stationed in the same territory as Allied units would start the turn incorporated and could be used immediately by the Allies.

    * Play Example 1:  If the Italian player blocks off UK access to the southern France French fleet in R1, the UK player may launch an air strike (where French naval units defend at “1”) so that Italy cannot incorporate the units on their turn.  This would allow for the UK air raid on the French fleet that occurred in the war.  
        * Play Example 2:  This could also allow the UK’s Operation Dynamo where the UK evacuated troops from France, since Germany may leave that area untouched due to the Maginot line rule encouraging all their Belgium forces to invade France.  ex.  On R1 Britain lands a soldier in France for their combat move, thereby incorporating those units to the Allied side.  For their non-combat move, the French units are loaded onto the transport(s).  Depending on balancing, aligned nations could either need to unload on the next round or could use aligned transports without restrictions.

    My impression is that #1 initially favors the Axis at the start of the game and the Allies at the end of the game.  #2 favors the Allies.  #3 favors the Axis.  Some balancing possibilities:  
    If the Axis have too much of an advantage: You could place stricter rules on the incorporation of French units, such as requiring a dice roll to see if they join or fight.  You could disallow Italy from attacking Allied aligned neutrals in R1 as well.  You could impose limits on Italian participation in the invasion of Russia and UK.  This would align with the historic reality of their limited participation as well. Alternatively or in addition, you could impose a limit on their dice rolls in Russia since many Italians felt that their equipment was not suited for battle on the Eastern front.
    If the Allies have too much of an advantage: You could allow Germany to invade France through Italy and/or invade France through the Maginot line with a penalty of half the dice roll value for any land units attacking that direction.  You could also require them to do a dice roll to see if French units in or in sea units around Africa will join or fight.  You could also only allow the UK to attack Italy in R1 if the Italians invaded any Ally aligned nations.



  • The issue with this kind of variants is the game get scripted. Do you want to reenact the historical correct war step by step, or play a game ?



  • That’s certainly something to watch out for: so the question would be “Is this scripted?”.  My impression is that it wouldn’t be, but this may need play testing: I’m not sure if it would always be the best strategy as Italy to try to block the UK fleet from co-opting the French fleet… you may instead want to keep your forces congregated so that the UK can’t defeat them piecemeal.  Also, sending ships to SZ92 to block the UK ship in SZ91 from co-opting the French also opens up your ships to attack by that ship as well as fighters from the UK mainland.  Even if Italy blocks off the UK fleet, would you want to launch an air strike against the French boats?  If you can use those planes in helping your fleet wipe out the Italian fleet, then you could sail in and incorporate those boats to the Allies.  Also, an air strike could displace aircraft to unsafe areas or possibly require your carrier to move within one square of where the French Fleet is, which could expose the UK fleet more than it wants to be (especially if it’s allocating material to eliminating French boats that would’ve gone towards eliminating the Italian fleet).

    For Operation Dynamo: that could be a risky option (IF your UK transport somehow survived the German subs and aircraft: slightly more possible as the German player may want to invest more Luftwaffe into France since the Maginot line cuts off a lot of ground forces from the attack).  It could potentially open up transports to German attack on the next round.  I could see these scenarios having a bit of fun and chiding your ‘heartless’ opponent for attacking either a defenseless fleet or fleeing men.  Rather than a scripted game, I believe this would add a new element to the game as forces try to compete over who can co-opt French material - as they did in the war.

    The Maginot line portion would take out some of the scripting from the original game.  It’s possible that if you get too ambitious (wanting to conquer Normany/Bordeaux in R1, conserve more men for an early Russian attack, or allocate too much air power to destroying the British fleet), you may fail to conquer France on R1.  Of course this would be disastrous, as France could then build on their turn.  With that possibility, it makes this portion of the game more intense and less scripted.

    The aspect I’m most concerned about would be how having all the forces playing simultaneously could affect balancing.  I’ve read posts on other forums from people who’ve done this and said that it works (I know it does for the A&A Europe that was released in 1999), but some of these additions could swing the balance too far one way or the other.


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

    @iwugrad:

    The aspect I’m most concerned about would be how having all the forces playing simultaneously could affect balancing.

    That’s something I’m worried about too.  In the OOB rules, nine countries each get separate turns, and these separate turns more or less keep alternating between the Axis and the Allies.  It’s not a perfect alternation because the three Axis nations have to be sandwiched between six Allied ones, but it’s close enough, especially when you consider that China and France aren’t really first-rate powers in the game).  So in the OOB rules, there’s only one power “in the driver’s seat” at any one time, and the side which has one of its powers in the driver’s seat alternates pretty regularly.  In the proposed variation, however, all the countries on one side would be “in the driver’s seat” simultaneously, and I’m worried that this might give them too much of an advantage.

    Another consideration is that the concept of having all the Axis players take their shot simultaneously (while the Allies are in purely reactive mode), then having the reverse situation occur, goes against the house rule’s stated objective of achieving greater historical realism.  WWII wasn’t fought that way; for the most part, both sides kept “making their moves” simultaneously throughout the war, though of course not with uniform levels of intensity.



  • @iwugrad:

    1. All Aligned Nations Have Simultaneous Play
    This aspect opens up the possibility of some key events.  Also, it makes the game much faster and more enjoyable for some of the patience deficit friends I play with.  The turn order and rules would be:
    a.  All Axis aligned nations play simultaneously:  Italy may not attack US/UK/France/Russia on R1.  They may attack neutral, allied neutral, or incorporate Axis aligned nations.
    b.  All Allied aligned nations play simultaneously
    c.  All neutral countries play simultaneously:  For R1, this is the U.S. and Russia if they haven’t been attacked.

    I believe this can work, but rather suggest this >

    a. All Axis aligned nations play simultaneously. This is Germany, Italy and Japan.
    b. USSR play. This is Russia and a possible Red China.
    c. All western Allied nations play simultaneously. This is UK, France, USA, ANZAC and Nationalist China.

    USA must play in the Allied group even when neutral, he just don’t take part in combats as long as neutral. USA was never a true neutral, it sent LendLease to UK from day one.

    True neutral major nations like Spain, Turkey and Sweden are not players, they just sit there until attacked.

    Now I think this is more historical correct than the other suggestion.
    I don’t believe simultaneous play will break the balance in the big picture. It will save time for sure, and take away some dead time when five players drink cola and watch TV while one guy makes his moves. I believe it will enhance the game.

    But because simultaneous play take away the classic can opener moves, we must add a new Blitz rule. Tanks and Mechs may blitz through any enemy territory that is free of enemy units. Even newly captured territories. But land and air units that is used in this breakthrough attack can not have taken part in any other combat moves this turn. It must be fresh units. This will replace the classic can opener, where two Italian tanks killed the lonely Russian inf in Ukraine, and next a huge German tank stack would blitz through. Now that was not historical correct, but this will be.



  • @CWO:

    Another consideration is that the concept of having all the Axis players take their shot simultaneously (while the Allies are in purely reactive mode), then having the reverse situation occur, goes against the house rule’s stated objective of achieving greater historical realism.  WWII wasn’t fought that way; for the most part, both sides kept “making their moves” simultaneously throughout the war, though of course not with uniform levels of intensity.

    I don’t agree. The western allies USA, UK, ANZAC, Canada and France all had the same objective, to capture Berlin, Rome and Tokyo, and end the war. And troops from all allies did cooperate close in operations from start to end. Even in complex operations as amphibious landings. Ships, planes and troops from UK, France and Poland cooperated in the amphibious attack at German occupied Norway in 1940. Ships, planes and troops from USA, UK, Canada, France and Poland did cooperate in the Normandy landings in 1944. So yes, I believe simultaneous moves are historical correct. I cant imagine USA would attack Normandy alone in the real war, then get kicked out by the Germans next week, then next week UK would attack Normandy alone, and next week get kicked out by Italian units. But then, France would attack Normandy alone, but they don’t get kicked out, because now Germany and Italy were too tired ? So next week Canadian troops can reinforce Normandy easily. And the week after that, some Polish troops. Then USA troops, but now Germany would be ready to attack again. This don’t make sense to me.

    Germany and Japan may have different objectives, that is correct, but they play on separate maps. Why cant Germany move units into Ukraine in the same turn that Japan is moving units into Hawaii ? If it is time saving, then why not ? If Japan don’t want to attack Hawaii before he see how the Ukraine battle turns out, then he can just attack something else while he wait. No big problem.



  • @iwugrad:

    That’s certainly something to watch out for: so the question would be “Is this scripted?”. Â

    Don’t take me wrong, I love your effort to make it more historical correct. But I don’t think scripted rules are the way to go.
    With scripted rules, I talk about Italy is not allowed to attack UK in turn 1. Why ? What on earth would stop Mussolini from attacking Egypt in 1939 if that was what he wanted to do ? Not some rules in a book, that for sure. In the real war, Italy did not attack Egypt in 1939 because they was bussy elsewhere, not because some rule told them not to do it. If you don’t want Italy to attack Egypt in turn 1, then make Italy weak and Egypt strong, then that attack wont happen, but by rational cases, not by rules.

    The other issue I got with you, is the Maginot line. Now Germany is not allowed to attack directly into France, they must go through Belgium because that is historical correct. I hate that kind of scripted rules. If you want a Maginot line, why don’t make it ? Buy the Blockhouse units and minefields tokens from HBG, and place them at the German border. Now Germany will suffer if they make a frontal attack against Blockhouses and minefields. So maybe they move through Belgium, by choice and not because of scripted rules



  • Don’t take me wrong, I love your effort to make it more historical correct. But I don’t think scripted rules are the way to go.
    With scripted rules, I talk about Italy is not allowed to attack UK in turn 1. Why ? What on earth would stop Mussolini from attacking Egypt in 1939 if that was what he wanted to do ? Not some rules in a book, that for sure. In the real war, Italy did not attack Egypt in 1939 because they was bussy elsewhere, not because some rule told them not to do it. If you don’t want Italy to attack Egypt in turn 1, then make Italy weak and Egypt strong, then that attack wont happen, but by rational cases, not by rules.

    I agree with narvik.
    I also play 1939 game and Italy cannot play in the first turn.

    The other issue I got with you, is the Maginot line. Now Germany is not allowed to attack directly into France, they must go through Belgium because that is historical correct. I hate that kind of scripted rules. If you want a Maginot line, why don’t make it ? Buy the Blockhouse units and minefields tokens from HBG, and place them at the German border. Now Germany will suffer if they make a frontal attack against Blockhouses and minefields. So maybe they move through Belgium, by choice and not because of scripted rules

    Yup it’s exactly what I have done…and it works…



  • @iwugrad:

    The Maginot line portion would take out some of the scripting from the original game.  It’s possible that if you get too ambitious (wanting to conquer Normany/Bordeaux in R1, conserve more men for an early Russian attack, or allocate too much air power to destroying the British fleet), you may fail to conquer France on R1.  Of course this would be disastrous, as France could then build on their turn.  With that possibility, it makes this portion of the game more intense and less scripted.

    The Global 40 map is wrong, it should be based on the A&A Europe 1999 edition map. So I made a suggestion for an improved map, where France proper, with industry, ports and airfields, are protected by buffer territories.

    Europe_relief_laea_location_map1-1024x875 (8).jpg



  • Now Germany must make an historical correct decision. Go through neutral and light defended Belgium, or frontal against the heavy stacked Maginot Line. The heavy gun in bunker take two hits to kill, just like a battleship, and defend on a 4 or less.

    P1010163.JPG



  • Netherland and Belgium are together? Not seperated?



  • @crusaderiv:

    Netherland and Belgium are together? Not seperated?

    Of course, a playable map cant have too many small territories


  • Customizer

    I tend towards Japan and the European Axis playing separately, so there are 4 power blocks in the game.

    It also conveniently defines the loose association for Japan and USSR with their “allies”, that is they cannot move together but neither can they share territory or use the transports and carriers of their partners.

    For example it would prevent the UK/US from landing a large army in Karelia to prop up the USSR: its unlikley the Soviets would have agreed to this, less still that Germany & Japan would have co-operated inn this way.

    Some also use the rule that allied blocks do not liberate each other’s tt but keep everything they capture, though a more extreme version is that allies may not even attack each other’s occupied tt.

    Stalin signed deals with both the Germans and British defining “spheres of influence” by defining which areas would be controlled by which, with a tacit agreement to “keep off” the other partner’s designated patch.



  • Great input, thanks all.  I know that for A&A Europe, playing all Axis, then all Allies made it a 3 or 4 hour game instead of an 8 hour game without diminishing the fun factor, so I’m glad to hear that may be doable in Global '40.

    I like the blockhouse idea and I could very easily add that to my next HBG pieces order (I’ve purchased quite a few pieces from them over the years and planning on adding the recent UK and upcoming France, Germany, and US supplement sets)… not sure if the fun factor of blockhouses & mines would be enough in exchange for the additional rules though.  @crusaderiv and Narvik: What would be the rules/prices/attack factors associated with block houses and mines?  Or is this a special use for only the Maginot line?  I could see this being fun for the Maginot line and an invasion of Normandy or even a UK/USA invasion, but not as much if there are blockhouses and mines all over Europe.

    @ Flashman & Narvik: I agree that cooperation between Russia and the other Allies took a very different tone than cooperation between UK/USA and Germany/Italy.  We don’t really know how well the European Axis and Japan would’ve cooperated in battle.  I like the idea of a certain separation for Russia and Japan, but to save time, perhaps they could still go at the same time and have specific rules for cooperation.  I could see any of those groups having joint participation in the same battle, but there would be coordination issues. What about for each battle engaged by joint powers (Russia & Other Allies or European Axis & Japan), one group (decided by that side, or if indecisive, the opponents get to decide) must complete one full round of combat before the other power can participate on the battle board, and the later side must survive 1 additional round of combat if there’s a retreat?  Germany was accused by the Hungarians of using them as cannon fodder and I’d bet Russia would’ve done the same to their allies.  So another possibility could be that Germany could decide whether to take Italians, Japanese, or Germans as casualties in a joint operation and Russia could decide whether to take their own or their ally.

    I hesitate to say that Italy could attack anyone on R1 primarily because it would make them unrealistically strong in the Mediterranean: they could wipe out the British mediterranean fleet while taking Egypt, Alexandria, and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan with relative ease on R1.  Also, they didn’t jump into France until they knew they were safe doing so and likely wouldn’t have gone in without knowing the German attack would work.  I’m not sure that Mussolini would’ve been ok with the Germans sending some of their French invasion forces in via northern Italy prior to their late invasion of France.  I also would prefer to start in the 1940 scenario, where Germany has already moved into Belgium since I’m getting out of scope if I start trying to create a 1939 scenario: for that, I’d probably just take that 1939 game mentioned on HBG and mod it rather than turn the 1940 game into 1939.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    @iwugrad:

    a.  All Axis aligned nations play simultaneously:  Italy may not attack US/UK/France/Russia on R1.  They may attack neutral, allied neutral, or incorporate Axis aligned nations.
    b.  All Allied aligned nations play simultaneously

    I think the way to approach this is for all players to resolve their moves in secret (independently of the enemy side) and then all reveal their moves at once.  Step one is to resolve border clashes, when two forces of opposing sides try to cross the same border. These are the first battles rolled. All units in a border clash roll as if “attacking” for the purposes of determining hits.

    Then any army which gets across the border, rolls to resolve whatever combat results in the territory which they were attacking. Here normal combat ensues (with the defender rolling at their defense value.)

    Basically you have a situation where every player has to think about where they want to move, without first knowing where the enemy players’ units will be (or be moving themselves). You would therefore have to elect whether to commit all units to a cross border engagement, or leave some behind… In case you get beat at the border, or get invaded across a different border than the one you just attacked across. This would have the advantage of making territories with several borders, more strategically useful for attack, while simultaneously being more vulnerable on defense. This idea for a collapsed turn order, could be used in conjunction with new rules for armor on the blitz, to provide a can opening effect. There would also be an interesting dilemma for the attacker, whether to send units across borders into attacks, or to hold some forces in reserve, in case their borders are penetrated.

    For enforcing alignment, you might restrict movement across borders in the known sphere of influence by side, For Japan/Axis and Russia/W. Allies for example. Though you would have to come up with a system to resolve which power is awarded control of a territory in the case of joint attacks against the enemy. Still it could probably be made to work in a 4 block, rather than a 2 block. We’d just have to put some thought into what co-location restrictions would be in place.

    In order for such a game to work on a board like G40, I think you would have to dramatically increase the amount of money in play. This is because more units would necessarily be destroyed in the course of the game, on account of the unpredictability of simultaneous attacks, so you’d really want more unit replacement per round to keep it fun.



  • I really like this idea Black_Elk: have you tried this out and is it fun?  I think it would make the unit buys more exciting:  should the UK prepare against Operation Sea Lion or is Germany going all out for Russia?  It would also enable naval sneak attacks as in the war (Pearl Harbor, etc.).  A concern I have is that it might be a lot of pencil and paper work having everyone write out what units are attacking where and also complex figuring out who would remain in an attacked area - would non-combat units reinforce an attacked territory if they were specified to move into it?  This could add a dynamic excitement; similar to how the Russians were sending tanks straight out of the factories to reinforce the front lines.

    How would non-combat movement be handled?  Would this be written out as well or would it be some kind of turn order?  I could see ‘can opening’ or blitzing working as specified tanks, mechs, and aircraft held back from battle in preparation for a “blitz”.  If the preceding battle fails and the route for the blitz is not open, the land units specified for the blitz would have to stay where they are and air units would have half their movement available for non-combat movement.  I’m not sure if it would be better to just call out battles one by one in some kind of turn order, use pencil and paper, or some other solution. I’ll have to think about this: I’d be curious to know if this has been tried out and what the results were in terms of “fun factor”.



  • @Black_Elk:

    I think the way to approach this is for all players to resolve their moves in secret (independently of the enemy side) and then all reveal their moves at once.

    I love to play Diplomacy, and it use this system. It work because you can only have one unit in a territory at the same time. Using this system in A&A have been playtestet many times, they nicknamed it #Write an Essay# and it is complicated. If you look up the MB Classic at BBG, you will find some house rules using this system. If you buy A&A Guadalcanal, it has an optional naval rule using this system. Both players wrote down on paper the naval moves, and then try to resolve it. The fans turned it down, and that was the easy edition with two player, imagine 8 players writing down moves for hundreds of units. Be my guest



  • @iwugrad:

    .  So another possibility could be that Germany could decide whether to take Italians, Japanese, or Germans as casualties in a joint operation and Russia could decide whether to take their own or their ally. Â

    this is exactly the same problem as you get when you attack a territory or seazone with defenders from several nations. Best way to solve is let Germany and Italy be played by the same person, and USA, France and UK by the same person. Unless you really want a 8 player game.



  • I see what Narvik is saying, I did a little experimenting using the image of the game board:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1501354/axis-allies-europe-1940?size=large from boardgamegeek and a pen and paper for Italy and it is very complicated.  Maybe there is a solution such as turn based movement territory/zone by territory?  I’d need to think that out.

    I would definitely prefer an 8 player game.  We’ve played several games of simultaneous Axis then Allies play for A&A Europe (1999 release).  We play that the Axis is split between Germany as one player and Italy/Hungary/Finland as a second (Italian player may build in Germany or Italy and controls units starting in Italy, Africa, Finland, Yugoslavia, a portion in Greece, and Hungary).  The casualty selection is generally very cordial, where the sides generally take turns from the lowest valued units up.  The side that gets their marker on the territory is the one with the highest IPC value of units conquering the territory.  If the situation arose where material was even and the colleagues couldn’t decide who takes possession, their opponents could decide (this never happened).  This could be used in G40, but it may make sense to impose some type of restriction on cooperation (such as ‘wait 1 round’, ‘Russians/Germans select casualties’, etc.) both for balancing and historical reasons.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    Well you did say it was for history buffs after all, and you know that thing about history… If no one writes it down nothing gets remembered! 😉 haha

    Yeah, so of course this system requires each player to bring a notepad, since it’s a basically a page per round, per player. But that’s not as burdensome as it sounds, because here game phases are strictly enforced, and everyone allots their moves at the same time. So it’s not like you’re sitting around, just waiting forever for the other guy to do all his moves, before you get a chance to go. The waiting around is what usually defeats a collapsed order (all Allies then all Axis etc) since nobody likes just rolling defense for an hour, while they wait for their side’s turn to come up. If you do everything at once, then the game has natural breaks by phase, so that game flow is preserved, and players don’t get bored.

    Basically the way it works…

    1. All players allot purchase and repair (purchase remains secret until the placement phase at the end of the round.)

    2. Then all players write down their intended combat moves. (if you want to expand the blitz ability of armor during second tier of the combat phase, then any blitz moves through the lines could be written down at this point.)

    3. Combat begins, all players reveal their moves at the same time. Heavy action and rolling for about 30 minutes to an hour.

    a. Border Clashes (enemy armies crossing the same border must be resolved first.)
    b. Normal Combat
    c. Blitz Combat (blitz units that haven’t yet moved, may attempt to punch through the lines.)

    Then there is another natural break in the action, as all players write down their non combat moves, and reinforce their positions.

    4. All players reveal non com, place units, and collect income.

    Then repeat into the next round.

    It’s helpful to remove the restrictions on combat movement all together, and think of it not so much as a “combat” and “non combat” move, but as an “initial” move and “follow up” move. Initial Movement and Support Movement for example. This basically has to be written down, or else chaos ensues.

    It actually takes less time to strictly enforce game phases and write down moves than you might expect. A timer can be helpful for this. It also prevents confusion, second guessing, or otherwise trying to exploit the order of battles.

    From a gameplay standpoint, it is hard to support “retreating” under such a system. If you allow retreats in the midst of the combat phase then it really matters which battles occur first and which occur later. If you remove the retreat component then it doesn’t matter which order you run the battles in. You can alternate left side of the board first in one round, then right side of the board in the next (for variety) if you like. Once the moves are allotted, there is no going back to change them. This is why retreating in combat doesn’t work well, since it breaks with the “all moves allotted beforehand” idea. Basically you give up the attacker retreats dynamic, but you get other interesting gameplay dynamics in exchange. Its possible there may a way to handle retreating, but that was the main hang up for me.

    If you’re curious what this would look like in the first round, most players will pull back and consolidate (especially their navies) if they are potentially at risk. So using an OOB board, this means the first round is often just positioning and set up.

    This whole thing works a lot better, in terms of the game flow if you’re playing with more than 2 players (since the writing and the moves are much faster), and the actual dice rolling is more engaging, if you can split it up between 4 people.

    I have only tried using a system like this on the Revised and AA50 boards. It basically busts the set up (though no more than an All Axis then All Allies turn order does) which is why I suggest more money. Awarding +1 ipc extra for a successful combat to take a territory for example. Or +5 for control of a VC. Or +10 for a capital, things like that. Since basically, more units are going to die per round.

    Consider also how Navies move, which means you need more money to buy blocking units, and more money for air to run recon, and try to pin fleets. The same can be said of ground forces, though here the movement range is of course more limited. This type of gameplay gives a slight advantage to the attacker who can bring multiple armies across multiple borders into the territories they are attacking, which encourages more attack fanning and less stack pushing.

    The main thing this type of game does is get rid of the “Omniscient General”, ie the player who knows exactly where the enemy is at all times, and exactly how many units they need to commit to a given attack/defense in order to beat the odds. Players who predominantly game Low Luck,  might find that aspect rather annoying, but I think this type of gameplay definitely accords better with the real character of warfare during the period. Basically you know where the units are at the beginning of the round, but you don’t know where they will end up during combat, (and you also don’t know which units will be placed when the combats and moves are all finished.) This means you basically have to hedge your bets, and be a little conservative sometimes, or maybe not, if you are willing to risk the consequences. There is more variability, obviously, and more TUV destroyed on average, since players will be allotting their moves while still in the fog.

    Contrast this with the OOB game, where the current player has complete foreknowledge, they know how many units will be defending against their attack in any given battle. They can conduct their moves with total confidence (if they bring in another fighter say, or an extra inf unit), knowing what the odds on the outcome will be.

    Instead, here, players will spend less time calculating everything out to the Nth degree, and more time actually fighting. The secret “write it down” phase, allows sufficient time for deliberation and strategic discussion with your teammates, but without stifling the action a thousand times during a given round, as players argue back and forth with their teammates about what to do. “You have to do this, because of such and such!” or “Dude if you don’t do Y, then we’re going to lose!” etc. You’ve all seen I’m sure, how that sort of constant strategic banter can disrupt a multi player game. In this situation, all that discussion is confined to one period, the allot move phase. And the discussion can be more nuanced, since you don’t know what your enemy will do. Its not like it is OOB, where there is often just one right play, and the more experienced player who sees it, has to convince his buddy to see it too. Does that make sense? Basically I think there are definite gameplay advantages to doing things this way, which could accelerate the game pace over OBB in certain aspects. Its not just a time sink, what you give up in time requirements in one respect, you gain back in another. Its just a very different way to play, but one that strikes me as more historically accurate to the character of World War 2.

    Clearly this type of game, is going to need some kind of balancing mechanism over the OOB set up.

    This is definitely the case if you’re talking about a Fully Collapsed turn order where all players go at once, simultaneously (where you have no “Turns” per se, just Phases and Rounds, since everyone moves simultaneously/secretly), but its also still the case in a collapsed turn order by side (All Axis then All Allies etc) since in either case, the OOB unit set up, the income and production spread, is not designed to support such a concept. The whole thing was built ground up TBS, which is why in the past I have argued against a collapsed turn order, in favor of a variable turn order (by Nation.) But if you do want to try collapsed order, then I suggest that you balance by starting income adjustment.

    Its better to change the money values, than it would be to change the unit set up or distribution. The latter takes too much time to implement, and so fewer people will try it. If the board can use the same OOB unit set up, but just change the starting IPCs values of certain Nations to balance for the new rules, or just change the IPCs awarded for certain simple objectives (like taking a territory or a VC) to balance for the new rules, that is always better. Since its easy to adopt.



  • Sounds like a lot of fun to me, Black Elk!

    I have to say though, I can’t imagine wanting to do this for G40 (especially for the first time). I imagine the 50th Anniversary Edition would be perfect. Not only is it a smaller board, but it’s also just simpler, without the political situations and scrambling and so on.
    If only that elusive game could be reasonably found…

    I also think it would probably work well on the New World Order setup. I’ve never played it, but the map looks at a glance to be good for this. It being one theater of war also makes a big impact on my reasoning.

    To get extra money, I would suggest a double component. One on luck, and another on gameplay.

    For luck,
    I remember seeing in another thread here someone used a normal 52-card deck to play games with beginners for additional money to lessen the edge. During each player’s Collect Income, they shuffled the deck, drew a card, and got something along these lines rewarded:
    Numbered card (2-10): 8 IPCs
    Jack: 9 IPCs
    Queen: 10 IPCs
    King: 11 IPCs
    Ace: 12 IPCs
    Joker: 15 IPCs

    For gameplay,
    So as not to make one that would have to vary depending on map, they could simply be:
    2 IPCs per territory successfully captured.
    1 IPC per territory successfully defended.
    (border skirmishes don’t count)


  • 2019 '15 '14

    I agree, things like scrambling, intercept, the DoW etc all add a layer of complexity. In earlier boards this was not an issue, because all players were “at war” from the outset, and the most complicated unit you had to deal with was just the factory. In those games the rule was that if you bought more units than you could place, because a factory was captured before the placement phase, then any extra units were held until the following round. Similarly, if a new factory was bought and its intended location was captured before the placement phase, in that case the newly purchased factory was saved until the next round.

    That was about as complicated as it got though. You didn’t have Airbases and Naval bases to contend with. For example. Here’s a interesting problem that can arise in G40 that would never have been an issue in Revised or AA50, for a Naval border clash… In Revised all naval units can move a maximum of 2 spaces, but in G40 they can potentially move 3! This creates a situation where if two fleets are each moving 3 spaces out of Harbors, along the same three sea zones, along which sea zone border does the clash combat occur? For me, I think the easiest would be to always resolve it in the intermediate sz (the sz between the two starting sz.) In Global there is just a lot more going on. That said, I don’t see why it couldn’t work here, at least in principle. The DoW would basically be a restriction on Initial Movement, meaning you can’t cross borders with a neutral nation until you’re first attacked (if you’re Russia say, or America), but once attacked you can immediately move in the support phase. Sneak attacks are thus possible here.

    Using G40, if you retained the political aspect, the battle of France could potentially be interesting for a change, since UK could fly in units. Or the French could withdraw everything on a sacrifice play to give the Germans headaches. China might be more interesting against Japan as well. On the flipside, Italy could probably escape the crushing effects of Taranto, since they would have more options to break out and consolidate their fleet, instead of just waiting to get sunk. There are many situations like that which could occur all across the board. So basically you have to throw out everything, in terms of your expectations for “standard” moves or income, based on the OOB situation. Because everything would change, once you let all players move simultaneously.

    I’m a big fan of Standard Playing cards. I think they work well as a randomized element, if you need to introduce more cash into a game. Its fun because each player gets to draw, but again just like with the secret moves, they don’t know which card they will pull from the deck (or which cards their enemy might draw.)

    I think if the concept can be made to work on the Revised or AA50 board, in theory it could be done with G40. You just have to think about how you want want the bases to work. All bombing resolved first perhaps, before other combats, things like that. It would be interesting to try sometime.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    Ps. The best analogy I can think of to what is being suggested above, is Same-Time RISK.

    “Same-Time” popularized on the old RiskII CD by Hasbro, involved a series of phases that we tried to model our A&A games on.  It had 4 basic phases for attack and movement.

    Border Clashes
    Invasions
    Surge Attacks

    then Tactical Moves

    In each phase, the moves were allotted in secret (you know your own moves, but not your enemies), meaning you did not know where the enemy was going to attack, or if they were going to attack at all, or if they did attack, then from where? Border Clashes are basically the same for A&A, except here you have individual units being rolled, instead of generic “armies” like in Risk. Invasions=“Combat”, Surge Attacks=“Blitz”, Tactical Moves=“Non Combat”.

    So if you’re familiar with Same-Time Risk, or a game like Diplomacy this shouldn’t sound too insane.  Basically the surge attack in RiskII was allotted in the initial combat movement phase, and it would occur if the prior border clashes and invasions were all successful.

    In A&A you could break this phase off, and allow a separate, final “Blitz attack” phase, for any Armor, Mech or Air units that were not already moved during the Combat phase.

    In Risk, placement occurs at the beginning of the game round, for A&A placement occurs at the end. Income collection is clearly not present in Risk, but in A&A its a critical component. Whether to do income collection at the end of the round (to keep with tradition) or put it at the beginning of the round (for more expeditious game resolution) would also be a question worth thinking on.

    One convention you can use to aid in writing stuff down, is to group your units within the territory or sz, during the allot movement phase. Grouped into attackers, blitz, defenders etc. Then just write down where they are going. Or can group units to confuse your opponents. Whatever works. You really only need 1 page in a legal size pad of paper.

    Purchase: ex. At factory A (List Units) at factory B (list units) etc.

    Combat: ex. From Territory X, to Territory Y (list units), from sz A to sz B ‘along path sz C and D’ (list units), From sz Gamma to Territory Omega etc.

    BIitz: ex. From Territory X to territory Y, through territory Z.

    Then run the battles!  Note that the number of battles you typically run is less, when players spend their first round consolidating forces.  This has the effect of making the first round somewhat fast, rather than the longest round of the whole game, since many units will pull back. After all the Border Clashes, Combats, and Blitz moves are finished, you again go to the note pad.

    After all Non Com movements are allotted, reveal purchase, place and collect income.

    Ideally the two movement allotment phases should take about 30 to 45 minutes. The combats should take around 45 minutes too. Averaging out once things get going to about a round an hour.



  • Black Elk,

    I’m a big fan of this proposal and I’d love to try it sometime.

    ……BUT
    Simplicity, please!
    @Black_Elk:

    In A&A you could break this phase off, and allow a separate, final “Blitz attack” phase, for any Armor, Mech or Air units that were not already moved during the Combat phase.

    Giving players a chance to direct their Tanks and Mechanized units after the rest of attacks are declared just adds a second Declare Combat phase, and also probably overpowers those units. It’s simpler to just group them with the rest. If you want to Blitz, that’s what you write, planning an attack under the assumption the territory would be empty. If it isn’t, you fight in the 1st territory. Simple.

    Actually, to iron this out, I propose this:
    Units utilizing 3 spaces (ships from seaport) move one territory first. Just one. Resolve any border clashes.
    Then all units utilizing 2 spaces (other ships and tanks/mechs) move one territory. Resolve any border clashes.
    Then all units utilizing 1 space make their movement. Resolve any border clashes.
    Air units do not participate in border clashes. (EXCEPTION: Aircraft that departed from an aircraft carrier and that are moving along the same path as that carrier.)
    There is no retreating from border clashes.

    Since retreating is a mechanic that I think should be preserved, there has to be an order to resolving different combats. So, in what would have been normal turn order, that player decides “let’s resolve this combat next”, irregardless of who is attacker or defender. After one round of combat in the battle, the attacker(s) may elect to retreat. BUT, so as to not have units fight twice, you can’t retreat into a territory that is still under attack and pending resolution. Each attacker retreats individually.
    Players pick round robin style what combats to resolve until all have been completed. Then T2 the 2nd player can choose first, T3 the 3rd player can choose first, and so on.

    @Black_Elk:

    After all Non Com movements are allotted, reveal purchase, place and collect income.

    @Black_Elk:

    Purchase: ex. At factory A (List Units) at factory B (list units) etc.

    I’d be in favor of keeping purchasing and placing the same, and deciding where to place the units after combat. I think it’s fun to be able to operate with more information and options. Knowing an opponent’s buy, although too late to influence your buy, can still influence your attack. And knowing how combat resolved can influence which factory to place units at. Although this creates an extra write-it-down step, it’s one that would be completed very very quickly. This isn’t that big a deal, though, and I can see the game being enjoyed the way you suggested. This is just my preference.

    On the topic of Income collection,
    It’s mostly a moot point. If all players share the same turn and movement, having it at the end or the beginning of the round makes no difference. They become one and the same.
    The only situation it does matter is in the sacking of multiple capitals in the same round. In that case, priority could be determined by the aforementioned round-robin rotation.

    What do you think of these proposals?



  • Ah hell, while I’m at it… I might as well work out the rest of the A&AG40 kinks. I don’t have the 50AE anyway  😞 .

    Scrambling: Gone.
    Yay! That was easy!
    Er, not quite…
    In the Attack phase, players can still elect to have their fighters Defend (and roll with defender values) a sea zone next to a territory under their side’s control by declaring so in the Declare Attacks phase. Other air engagements over sea would be Attacking. This provides for the peculiarity of having fighters of opposing sides both Defending common sea zones such as SZ 110. They’ll both role 4’s. So be it (barring a good idea from you), it’s the best solution I see at the moment. No adjacent air base required.
    Tac bombers are not augmented in the same fight unless an accompanying fighter was declared to Attack that sea zone. (Or do you think they should still augment as long as it’s in the same zone?)
    In fact, to bring this to balance, all Naval movement needs to be done in the Attack phase, whether it’s intended combat or not. By this logic, you could have a submarine Defend as well, but I’d see no reason to, ever.

    Bombing raids:
    An extra step and separate before the Declare Attacks phase.
    Bombers that are used for a bombing raid may not participate in an attack in the Declare Attacks phase.
    Execution of the bombing raid still happens as it does in a normal game.

    Politics:
    No more neutral powers. America and Russia start out as Allied powers that are not yet at war. When one does join the war, it join the war against all Axis nations, not against one specifically.
    This also has the interesting effect of allowing other Allies to move troops into these territories. (This theme is incidentally an upcoming revision in my America-as-Axis variant.)

    Defenseless transports:
    Not a change, just a clarification. Transports can be destroyed in border clashes, but it’s worth noting that non-carrier Aircraft don’t participate in border clashes. Destroying a defenseless transport with aircraft would happen during the Main Combat. Another way to look at it: this means that aircraft aren’t “faster” than ships. This does however have an effect of making transports more squirrely, as they will be harder to sink with aircraft than before.

    And a problem discovered while writing this: Submarines will almost never fight with their defensive value. So submarines need to be changed somehow. Easiest solutions I see are either increase cost, or “Submarines fight at 1 if a destroyer is present.”, which might also require cost revisions.

    Did I miss anything?


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