G40 China goes first in the turn order

  • 2019 '15 '14

    China first in the turn order:

    China, Germany, Russia, Japan, USA, UK/Pacific, Italy, Anzac, France (back to China to start the next round)

    On balance by sides (Axis vs Allies) this would give a slight edge to Allies over OOB. But to me that seems like a net positive, given that many players feel that the OOB game favors Axis.

    Unlike a high open bid for the Allies for pre-placement units, this change is restricted to the situation in the Pacific. It offsets somewhat the starting strength of the Japanese in this theater, but doesn’t mess with the balance in the Mediterranean.

    The Second Sino Japanese War had already been raging for 3 years by the start date of the OOB game. Having China open the turn order gives a little more recognition to their contribution to the Allied war effort. It also makes them a bit more entertaining to play. This allows for a more streamlined close to game round, as the minor Allied Nations are grouped together. Basically in PBEM terms, the Anglo-American turn is slightly faster, and the “Anzac turn” is slightly more meaningful and interesting.

    Note this change allows China to preserve 6 infantry units. That alone is similar in TUV to a bid of 18 for Allies. In effect its even higher, because the Chinese National Objective is worth 6 ipcs as well, and they are secured the ability to buy artillery in the opening round. All this combines to be a fairly hefty TUV boost to Allies, but of course all of it is restricted to the Chinese sphere of operations.

    This is the key, because it gives Allies a sizable boost, but in a very focused way. Right now China just gets mowed over, and many people feel that the demands on USA to win the game for Allies in the Pacific is just a bit too dramatic right now. So I propose this as a relatively easy solution for balance by sides.

    I believe it would be an easy HR to explain to players, as it changes virtually nothing to the core OOB game on the Europe side of the map. The opening distribution of European units remains the same, and most importantly this change doesn’t bust the OOB German opening.

    It could serve as a bid alternative, or at least a bid reset for the time being, until people decide on the ultimate balance.

    China! What do you think?  😄

    Can anyone see a major downside to this?

  • 2017 '16 '15

    I think it’s an excellent idea!

    I got busy doing some other things so I haven’t finished, but in the game I started I could clearly see that while maybe not a sharp stick in the eye it was a pretty good shot to the gut of Japan.
    It definitely slows them down. I would HIGHLY recommend giving it a playtest. Especially if the current game is becoming a bit stale to you.

  • @Black_Elk:

    China first in the turn order:

    China, Germany, Russia, Japan, USA, UK/Pacific, Italy, Anzac (back to China to start the next round)

    You forgot the best country in that turn sequence!

  • 2017 '16 '15

    Did a little more. I think China is almost guaranteed rd 2 bonus. Japan is gonna have to bring the house rd 3 just to get rid of them. Wonder how that effects a J3 attack?
    I’ll play some more 🙂

  • 2019 '15 '14

    I forgot that French! How very shortsighted of me haha. Who knows maybe the Free French could somehow benefit from this China first model too. I’ll edit up that HR posting so the turn order is legit 😉

    Thanks for checking it Barney! I think if more people explored this option they’d find a fun alternative to the common med bids you see these days. I think the Axis player and the Allied player both benefit gameplay wise, from having the minor nations “feel” a bit more significant.

  • 2017 '16 '15

    Absolutely Black Elk!

    India and ANZAC should at least get a couple infantry boost out of the deal. Hadn’t got far enough in my thought process to consider the med bid.:)
    That’s called looking ahead. There’s just something about the moment…:)

  • 2017

    Black Elk,

    Due to your new House Rules post, I was able to see this discussion post. Thanks for that!

    This is a similar idea to YG’s post of changing the turn order for the US to go after the UK or whatever so someone could can open for them.

    I like this idea of China going first. It sounds like a plausible way to end the bid process all together for an OOB G40 setup. China going first in and of itself is really like a bid. Most people want their bid to have an immediate impact. In this case there would be an immediate impact due to the option to purchase up to 3 artillery round 1 and save infantry from immediate slaughter.

    This turn order really would provide the US a lot more options rather than the pressure to really go after Japan first. I see that as the real balancing factor. I’ve recently heard that using most of a regular bid in China w/ just 1 Sub to the UK is a very effective way to use a bid. Have you war gamed it? Anyone have a recent experience giving this a try?

  • 2019 '15 '14

    Hi Ichabod! Nice to see you here, and glad that HR list brought you to this one. I’m really hoping that as more people contribute to the list, it might introduce others to some cool ideas that have been floated in the past.

    This particular HR was an outgrowth of my experience playing AA50. On that board I found that simply by altering the turn order such that China opened the sequence, really helped to make the game feel more balanced and somewhat more engaging for the person tasked with controlling China, but with less distortions to the opening round than a typical bid. I think the implementation in AA50 was somewhat more elegant, because it didn’t actually alter the sequence of Nations (since the US/China still ended up ‘piggy backing’ after the first round) but just changed how that sequence began.

    In G40, the turn sequence itself is altered, but I’ve found that this doesn’t present a huge challenge once you get used to it. As a simple mnemonic device, I like to use the cardboard flag roundels, and place them in a row describing the new turn order somewhere off to the side of the map. This helps everyone to see the turn order at a glance, and makes it less likely that someone accidentally gets skipped over out of sheer habit haha.

    Honestly, this China first house rule is my go to for G40. I like it because it allows one to maintain the implicit idea that the set up cards and the OOB starting units are meant to represent an actual historical distribution of forces for the start date. It assumes that the designers did their due diligence and historical homework, when they provided us with these set up cards in the first place. One of the things I find frustrating about bids is that, while potentially interesting for the gameplay, they kind of break with that idea, by introducing additional forces where they supposedly aren’t meant to exist at the time. Similarly, providing nations with additional starting cash (rather than extra starting units) might be somewhat more abstract/believable, but even there, changes from the OOB cards suggest a disconnect between the game’s set up and the historical reality it’s meant to reflect. Of course I’m not so naive as to think that the set up is perfect for historical purposes, but you kind of need some shared suspension of disbelief, that the OOB units/cash are supposed to reflect something in the real history. 1 tank = such such for this period, 1 sub = such and such etc.

    By contrast, turn order seems rather more flexible to me, because there is already a built in understanding that the game is making some necessary abstractions here, just for the purposes of creating a turn based game. In reality we know that the belligerents were all making their moves simultaneously, but accept the division into turns for gameplay purposes. Of course at some point you can throw up your hands and say it’s all an abstraction and nothing is accurate, but that is a bit extreme. Its nice to have something to hold onto and say “ok this is our fixed point of departure” and for me it makes sense to keep the OOB starting units for that, and instead adjust the turn order as a balance corrective. When it works, it provides a similar benefit in terms of extra units (that might otherwise be dead in round 1) or extra cash (that might otherwise go uncollected in round 1) but it does this more indirectly… as a result of normal gameplay using the normal mechanics.

    Now granted, it’s not going to fix every possible issue one might have with the OOB game. Axis bombers will still be nuking Allied fleets, people will still ignore zero ipc islands, and the Victory Conditions for the Allies are still completely unachievable in a normal game session. But at least it gets a you a bit closer to a game which is balance by sides, without requiring the direct addition of more units to the starting forces. I think it preserves the same basic character of the OOB game, while providing a somewhat more grounded representation of the war in China.

    And despite what I suggested before, you could always just throw a bid on top of this change if desired. At least it would be a much smaller bid in that case haha.

    If you can find a willing opponent, let us know how it goes. I’ve found that the people in my playgroup have a lot more fun on the Pacific side of the map using this HR, with even the Japanese player appreciating the added challenge it can provide to their usual mech drive.

  • 2017

    I wish the triplea editors out there could create a mode with China going first so it play tested more often.

    I like the idea of China going first with no bid units being added to the board because with the standard OOB setup, Germany could therefore have the “chance” to make a play for Egypt. Even with the OOB setup and a no bid game, it’s practically not worth it for Germany to do it as it hurts it’s chances at more important objectives like Moscow or London. But with the current Bid situation mostly going to the UK Med/Africa, it’s suicidal to make the investment.

    I really see the no-bid to UK being mitigated by this turn order change. Might really permit the US to go after Germany first knowing that Japan has enough to handle for the moment.

  • 2019 2017 '16

    Sounds great!

    Only major change is that USA can’t take Chinese territories like Manchuria and then have China mobilise on those territories. That’s kinda cheesy anyway so probably a further advantage.

    In fact, I think this is probably going to change the balance of the game too much. You’d probably need to take the 2 inf off Hunan  to prevent too strong a start for China.

    EDIT: You would also need to have a special rule to prevent UK opening the Burma Rd and allowing China to buy artillery. Something like you can only buy art if the road has been open since the last Chinese turn. And I don’t think removing the 2 inf from Hunan would do enough. I think you’d need to remove one or two from Yunnan too.

  • 2019

    That’s a great idea! I hope to try this out soon within the next few weeks on global of course and even on just pacific 1940. 👍

  • 2017 '16 '15


    I wish the triplea editors out there could create a mode with China going first so it play tested more often.

    Hi Ichabod
    I did one a few years ago when Black Elk first proposed the idea. Don’t think it saw much use. Anyway here’s one for the current triplea:


    Open the zip and put the folder in your downloaded maps folder which is inside your triplea folder.

  • 2017 '16



    I wish the triplea editors out there could create a mode with China going first so it play tested more often.

    Hi Ichabod
    I did one a few years ago when Black Elk first proposed the idea. Don’t think it saw much use. Anyway here’s one for the current triplea:


    Open the zip and put the folder in your downloaded maps folder which is inside your triplea folder.

    You are always an helpful hand, Barney.  😉

  • 2017

    Thanks Barney!

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