Strict Neutral house rule question

  • I probably already know the answer to this if I think about it harder, but who would the following house rule benefit the most… the Axis or the Allies?

    Strict Neutral territories may be attacked and controlled without any consequences relating to the remaining strict neutral territories on the board.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    This is a good question. Spain is an obvious target for the Allies, but early in the game I don’t think they’re ready to invade, especially if the US isn’t involved. Italy might be able to take it in the opening round, giving Germany a shot at Gibraltar. Germany can also position itself to attack Turkey as early as R2, giving it a shot at the Middle East and Cairo. The axis won’t have to worry about attacking Sweden, which is a plus. I guess I would say this favors the Axis.

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

    I’d need to think about this more in order to decide if it benefits the Allies more that the Axis or vice versa (and I’m not sure that it does, one way or another).  A preliminary partial answer, however, would be that the house rule “benefits” (mor on that in a moment), the attacking side regardless of whether that side is Allied or Axis, because under the OOB rules the situation would be reversed: the attacking side is penalized (and the opposing side is rewarded) because all the other strict neutrals immediately join the opposing side.  I’ve always considered this OOB rule to be completely unrealistic because international relations don’t work that way in the real world (and did not work that way in WWII), but Larry’s intention was obviously to give people a strong incentive not to attack strict neutrals without simply saying that such a move is illegal.  Your HR would be much more realistic.  I’m not sure it would be a “benefit” to the attacker in the normal sense of the word; it would be more of an “avoidance of the normal OOB very bad consequences” situation.  I guess the cost-benefit ratio for each such territorial conquest would basically depend, on a case-by-case basis, on whether the attacker gains enough IPCs from his territorial conquest to offset profitably the units he lost in combat to conquer it.  A country with a large standing army and a small number of IPCs (like Turkey, with 8 infantry and 2 IPCs) would be a bad choice to attack in terms of the cost-benefit ratio, but Switzerland would be even worse: 2 infantry and 0 PICs, so attacking it would be all pain and no gain.

  • Great comments guys, thanks.

    I was also thinking about getting some Bi-plane sculps from HBG and placing 1 on each strict neutral territory with a standing army of 4 or more, I would also make the defence value of this air unit 3 or less.

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


    I was also thinking about getting some Bi-plane sculps from HBG and placing 1 on each strict neutral territory with a standing army of 4 or more, I would also make the defence value of this air unit 3 or less.

    Alternately, you could use the biplanes from A&A WWI 1914, which I assume you already have on hand.  I’m not sure if there are enough of them in the package to fit your requirement, but it’s a possibility.

  • I don’t have the A&A 1914 game, but thE Bi-planes in that game would be the ones I would get from HBG.

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

    I’ve been doing some more thinking about Turkey’s odd status of having the largest standing army (8 infantry) of all the neutrals. The closest competitors are Spain and Sweden (with 6 infantry each).  Turkey’s standing army of 8 infantry puts it in a category by itself among the neutrals, and I’ve been wondering to what extent this is perhaps meant to reflect the importance that a German conquest of Turkey might have had if it had actually happened in WWII.

    If the Global 1940 map was accurate, the territory directly south of Bulgaria would be the European part of Turkey (not part of Greece, as the map shows).  A German invasion of European Turkey starting from Bulgaria (and from Greece too, if it took place after the spring 1941 German occupation of Greece and Yugoslavia), resulting in the eventual occupation of the Asian part of Turkey by German forces, could have had several potentially major strategic consequences in WWII:

    • It would have enabled the German army to strike southwest into the Levant and eventually capture the Suez Canal, thus cutting off Britain’s shortest sea route to India and the Far East. The German army could then have struck further westward into Egypt, catching the British forces there in a vice between this westward-striking element and Rommel’s Afrika Korps, which was already positioned on the other side of the British, perhaps even eliminating the UK’s presence in North Africa altogether.

    • The occupation of Turkey would also have enabled the German army to strike to the south and southeast into Iraq and Iran, thus securing valuable supplies of oil which Germany needed badly.  This would also have positioned the Germans on the southern flank of the Soviet Union, on either side of the Caspian Sea, as potential jumping-off points for German attacks into the Caucasus (whose oil fields Germany wanted) and Turkmenistan.  It would also have placed the Germans west of India (in southeast Iraq), in a counterpart to Japan’s campaign of 1941-1942 which placed the Japanese east of India (in Burma), and perhaps would even have created an opportunity – though probably just a remote one – for the two Axis powers to attack into India simultaneously from opposite sides and link up.

    If we combined these real-world considerations with the OOB rules, then I’d say that the OOB rules which dissuade players from attacking strict neutrals in general (all of them gang up on the attacker) and which dissuade them from attacking Turkey in particular (due to its large standing army) actually favour the Allies (rather than favouring the Axis, or favouring neither side) because Germany is the country which would, in an unrestricted environment, have the most to gain from capturing Turkey.  That argument, however, does have a major flaw: it assumes that the real-world considerations of logistics are modeled in the A&A rules, which isn’t actually the case.  Under the OOB rules, closing the Suez Canal to the British or having the Middle East fall into German hands wouldn’t be as consequential as in real life because British sea trade and German oil supply needs aren’t explicitly built into the game mechanism.  So to come all the way back to the subject I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Turkey’s uniquely large standing army is a bit perplexing under the OOB rules.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Earlier discussions regarding neutrals and Turkey did bring up the difficult terrain of the country: adding infantry is the only way to make it a tough slog for an attacker. And it is such a crucial pivot point that it should come with a price.

    It is still unfortunate Spain and Turkey were made into single territories, because they do invite themselves to strategies that attack neutrals since they can become shortcuts to vital areas. Splitting each of them up would at least force the attacker to fight through two waves of defenders and also prevent easy movement like Americans rolling to France from Spain or Germany to the Middle East through Turkey.

    Of course it goes without saying a massive country like Brazil should have been split up into at least three territories.

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

    Good points, General Veers.  Thanks for your insights.

Log in to reply

20th Anniversary Give Away

In January 2000 this site came to life and now we're celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a prize giveaway of 30+ prizes. See this link for the list of prizes and winners.
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys
T-shirts, Hats, and More

Suggested Topics

  • 1
  • 5
  • 4
  • 15
  • 3
  • 7
  • 1
  • 2
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys