1942.2 idea to help the Allies: Lend-Lease



  • Hey guys. I’ve been playing the board game, initially Spring 1942, now 1942 2nd edition, for couple of years now. I’m not an expert by any means, but I sure do have high interest for this game 🙂

    One thing I noticed in 2nd edition is that Axis is just too strong. Now, maybe my Allied strategy could be better (I mainly go for KGF), but no matter what I do, unless I hit a string of lucky rolls in round 1, it’s pretty much an uphill battle before Germany and Japan sandwich and crush Russia. I know there’s the bidding system to help with that, but I was thinking of a different approach that could maybe help the Allies.

    One thing that never sat well with me with Axis and Allies board game was how weak Russia is. Now, I’m not an expert historian, but I’ve watched enough documentaries to know that it was the Soviet Union who almost single handedly turned the tide of the war and put the Germans on the defensive. The Germans were losing well before US and UK landed on Normandy. Also, Russians always had the capacity to ramp up production and out-produce the Germans in the long run, and the Germans knew that and hence planned to conquer Moscow as soon as possible because it knew it couldn’t face the Soviet Union in a long drawn out war of attrition.

    For the sake of balance, and also historical accuracy, I think Russia could be stronger; it makes no sense that Russia’s production is almost half of Germany’s and even significantly lower than Japan’s or UK’s. I think I may have a solution that’s both historical and not too imbalanced.

    Lend-Lease Rule:
    At the start of US turn during the purchase phase, the US player can send up to 6 IPCs (at the cost of his own IPCs) to the Russian player, under certain conditions. The condition for the maximum number of IPCs sent is as follows:
    -Maximum of 2 IPCs if the Allies control Archangel at the start of US turn
    -Maximum of 2 IPCs if the Allies control Caucasus at the start of US turn
    -Maximum of 2 IPCs if the Allies control Soviet Far East at the start of US turn
    For a potential maximum of 6 IPCs.
    For example, at the start of US turn, if Russia owns Caucasus and Archangel, but not Soviet Far East, the US player can send anywhere from 0-4 IPCs to Russia. If Russia owns none of the 3 territories, US cannot send any IPCs.

    Gameplay significance:
    This would buff Russia and give it a potential to at least match German production for some time without changing the game board. It would also provide immediate relief to Russia and give it more time to fend off German offensives. Since the IPC would have to come from US, this would make US slightly weaker, delaying US military aid, therefore still keeping the game balanced (I hope). I think the immediate relief to Russia would help the Allies, but it’s not too much that it would be game breaking.

    Historical significance:
    The US sent materiel to Russia through 3 channels, 1) through the northern Atlantic Ocean into Archangel, 2) around South Africa and into Persia, where it would then be transported via land through Caucasus, and 3) into Soviet Far East, where it would be transported via Trans-Siberian railroad. Keeping these trade routes protected was crucial to Russia in ensuring constant flow of materiel aid from US.

    I haven’t gotten the chance to play the game with this rule; I haven’t played in a while actually. So I can’t say how it would play out in an actual game. What do you guys think? Balanced? Game breaking? Not significant?

    Thanks!



  • I like the idea, but if you play the allies optimal, this is not really a buff for the allies. You are just changing IPC from US to Russia, making US weaker.

    I would rather make it so that you could trade the US IPC in a ratio 1:2 for Russian IPC.

    So a maximum of 3 IPC from US converted to 6 russian IPC per round.


  • 2017 2016

    @seawolf:

    I like the idea, but if you play the allies optimal, this is not really a buff for the allies. You are just changing IPC from US to Russia, making US weaker.

    I would rather make it so that you could trade the US IPC in a ratio 1:2 for Russian IPC.

    So a maximum of 3 IPC from US converted to 6 russian IPC per round.

    I really disagree on this, putting units via money at the center of the map is a way of helping Allies.
    Just think about what is the cost of transporting (7 IPCs + Escort) 2 US Infs (6 IPCs) in Norway.
    In a blink of an eye you get 2 Infs on the next turn almost in Combat zone.

    A 1:1 IPC is great.
    I can’t tell if up to 6 IPCs isn’t too much but it worth a try.
    Probably, this will shortly becomes a 2 IPCs lend-lease but it adds some values to historically important territories.


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    Or you could give Russia production bonuses after holding out a while, to represent the increased production over time. Like after round three Russia gets 3 bonus IPCs per round, after round six they get 6 IPCs per round, etc.



  • @Baron:

    @seawolf:

    I like the idea, but if you play the allies optimal, this is not really a buff for the allies. You are just changing IPC from US to Russia, making US weaker.

    I would rather make it so that you could trade the US IPC in a ratio 1:2 for Russian IPC.

    So a maximum of 3 IPC from US converted to 6 russian IPC per round.

    I really disagree on this, putting units via money at the center of the map is a way of helping Allies.
    Just think about what is the cost of transporting (7 IPCs + Escort) 2 US Infs (6 IPCs) in Norway.
    In a blink of an eye you get 2 Infs on the next turn almost in Combat zone.

    A 1:1 IPC is great.
    I can’t tell if up to 6 IPCs isn’t too much but it worth a try.
    Probably, this will shortly becomes a 2 IPCs lend-lease but it adds some values to historically important territories.

    Yea, that was my thinking behind 1:1, too. I figured that 1 IPC to Russia is worth more than 1 IPC to US, at least in the first few rounds where US struggles to get units in the center of the map.
    Maybe if 2 IPCs per territory isn’t big enough, maybe 3 or even 4 (up to 12IPC), considering that Japan will likely take Soviet Far East by around round 2, and Archangel isn’t too defensible.


  • 2017 2016

    I have the impression that 3 IPCs/ territory is a Max.

    USA will have a slow start because I think it will be the thing to do during the first rounds of play, gives as much as possible to Russia.
    This will delay a bit more Germany.


  • 2019 2015 '14

    I agree with the initial premise of this post. Russia could definitely use a boost in 1942.2

    @Der:

    Or you could give Russia production bonuses after holding out a while, to represent the increased production over time. Like after round three Russia gets 3 bonus IPCs per round, after round six they get 6 IPCs per round, etc.

    This is one of the more interesting ideas I’ve heard in a while. I like it for its simplicity. You could play this way with a direct correspondence between Round and IPCs awarded.

    Round 1 = 1 ipc
    Round 2 = 2 ipcs
    Round 3 = 3 ipcs
    Round 4 = 4 ipcs
    Round 10 = 10 ipcs
    and so on

    this would mean that the effect on the early game would be fairly minimal, but each round that the game progresses, the Russian advantage would become more potent. The higher boosts would also kick in at precisely the time when the Russians need more loot, since all their land has been snatched. This would give the Axis a strong incentive to attack early, rather than trying to wait it out. So for example, as Germany, if you had choice between a somewhat risky attack on Moscow, or waiting 3 more rounds for Japan to back it up, you might just go for the attack rather than facing the extra lend lease loot that Russia receives. Each round you push the game out the larger the benefit becomes, which would encourage faster game resolution, at least on the part of Axis. Not sure might work.

    I support basically anything that gives the Russians a boost on this board.

    My favored change (in terms of a hard and fast set up adjustment) is to just give the Russians a bomber. Which seems to work fairly well at balancing this board in my playgroup 😄


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