Free-for-all



  • Disclaimer:  I don’t claim perfect balance in the following description of what we did, just some of the things we played around with.

    Back in the 80’s we played some free-for-all games using the classic version.  This had a few different variations.  As an example, if we had 5 players but wanted to try something different, we each took the normal countries but everyone started with the same amount of units (except G.B. which started with more since they had more total countries).  You could make whatever alliance you wanted AND whether or not you were true to your alliance was up to you i.e. there was some occasional back-stabbing  😮

    If we had 3 players, one was USA, one Japan and the other either Germany or Russia so they were fairly spaced out.

    If we had only two then Germany and Japan.

    Initially it was an all out land grab of course, but there were a lot of battles going on all over the board and some titanic sea battles as well.

    Again, not claiming any sort of scientific balance, but we sure had some fun with this sort of thing.  Anyone else ever do something like this?


  • Customizer

    We have done this a few times. You are right, sometimes doing the same game gets a little boring and we want to change things up. One thing we tried out was different alliances. One interesting one was Germany/Russia against US/UK/Japan. Germany and Russia dominated on the land of Europe, Asia and Africa. However, they couldn’t do much in the ocean because US/UK/Japan had all the big navies. It took a while but eventually Germany/Russia was making so much money that they were able to start putting down boats and fending off US/UK air and naval attacks and finally managed to invade England. It took a lot of naval battles, but they eventually got the upper hand.

    With Global, we had some really odd alliances. One time, we did like you mentioned and gave everyone the same amount of pieces. Then we took small pieces of paper and wrote territory names on each piece then drew them randomly and placed units accordingly. For this game, we had to cut down the value of the US territories to half their normal value. Otherwise whomever was lucky enough to get Eastern United States already started out with 20 points. Basically it was a sort of hybrid between Axis & Allies and Risk. The really fun part was seeing more ANZAC, French and Italian pieces in the game than you normally do. Plus, ANZAC and France hardly ever have tanks or capital ships in normal games of Global.



  • I could see making various adjustments to start everyone off on an equal footing (for the most part).  For example, you could adjust the value of some territories, particularly capitals so that everyone starts off with equal IPC’s.  And you could do the same with changing neutral territories into territories owned by a specific nation at the start.  For example, France could own Spain and Portugal as well as Switzerland if necessary (or give it to Italy if necessary).  Italy could get Yugo, Bulgaria, Greece and Crete.  You’ve also got the Middle East and Mongolia for China ANZAC as needed.  And then there is also South America which would be interesting if whoever owns it is against the U.S.

    Only thing you’d have to do is either nix China altogether or buy units for them to use.  Might be easier to nix them and that way you have an even eight powers.

    You could allow the players to make their own alliances (and also whether or not to be true to those alliances i.e. they can do some back stabbing if the opportunity presents itself) or you could draw for your partners.



  • @SEP:

    I could see making various adjustments to start everyone off on an equal footing (for the most part).�  For example, you could adjust the value of some territories, particularly capitals so that everyone starts off with equal IPC’s.�  And you could do the same with changing neutral territories into territories owned by a specific nation at the start.�  For example, France could own Spain and Portugal as well as Switzerland if necessary (or give it to Italy if necessary).�  Italy could get Yugo, Bulgaria, Greece and Crete.�  You’ve also got the Middle East and Mongolia for China ANZAC as needed.�  � And then there is also South America which would be interesting if whoever owns it is against the U.S.

    Only thing you’d have to do is either nix China altogether or buy units for them to use.�  Might be easier to nix them and that way you have an even eight powers.� Â

    You could allow the players to make their own alliances (and also whether or not to be true to those alliances i.e. they can do some back stabbing if the opportunity presents itself) or you could draw for your partners.� Â

    I am about to go off to class, but what about having all territories be like 2 IPCs, regardless of historical realism? It would make keeping track of things be easier, and with the influx of so many Territories being utilized (like neutrals) there would be plenty on the board still? It might mix it up for a G40 game. I guess–what would be the victory conditions though? Just like Risk–winner take all (or until one side is claimed the victor?)



  • @armyman_83:

    I am about to go off to class, but what about having all territories be like 2 IPCs, regardless of historical realism? It would make keeping track of things be easier, and with the influx of so many Territories being utilized (like neutrals) there would be plenty on the board still? It might mix it up for a G40 game. I guess–what would be the victory conditions though? Just like Risk–winner take all (or until one side is claimed the victor?)

    Sure, you could make every territory the same IPC level for simplification.  Possibly excluding capitals.  Victory conditions can be set for whatever you like in a game like this.  If we’re using U.S., G.B., France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan and ANZAC for example you’ve 8 capitals up for grabs.  Say the first player to get half of them?  Or whatever number you come up with.



  • Thinking about this a bit more, it should be fairly easy to more-or-less equalize each nation by nixing China and opening up all the neutral countries.  It may be necessary to put an IPC amount of some territories that don’t currently have one.  Then it would be a matter of coming up with a starting OOB for each.  The fairest would be to start off with equal amounts of units/income for each and then let it progress from there.

    Imagine France, Italy, Germany and maybe Russia teaming up.  Or imagine if one of them suddenly breaks the alliance!  A game like this would have a lot of naval battles which would be fun as well.  What would be neat is that strategies would/could be entirely different for every FFA game depending on who your allied partners are…or who you ‘think’ they are.



  • Me and my friends do this a lot. We simply use the games as is. No changes. Just fran with alliances. To make one player not left out though he can play three small countries like Fr Ch An.


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