Custom Rule Book



  • Thanks CWO Marc, I understand what you’re saying… and I have a friend who is a lawyer although not to familiar with copyright laws, he knows enough that in the case of non profit sharing of files, the copyright holder ussualy orders that the content be removed, at which point I would have no problem complying.

    Also, it should be mentioned that I have no intentions of sharing a file like this on axisandallies.org, so David would never need to worry about getting notices that might question the integrety of his site.

    BTW… creativecommons.org has great resources on this subject.



  • My friend from Germany found this and told me about it… (click link, then go to rules, then game rules, then AA Global 1940 2nd Edition).

    http://www.daak.de/

    It’s an all in one rulebook for German Global players, it makes me feel like we are far behind as a community when it comes to this stuff.



  • YG,

    did you already ask WotC about it? I guess that would be the simplest way to be on the safe side with this project.

    As I told you and you posted above, we in Germany have a Global rulebook that is merged out of the Europe and Pacific rulebooks and translated to German.

    I don’t know if the German A&A Club (DAAK) did it or if WotC is ok with that, but I guess they are.
    That rulebook is a simple merger between the two separate rulebooks that omits all the parts relevant for playing Europe or Pacific. So it does not even contain enhanced descriptions as per the FAQ or advanced explanations from this board. However, it already is a HUGE help as it sucks big time to browse through two different books to find a certain rule when playing Global.

    In fact, I think that WotC should have provided a downloadable rulebook for Global long ago and I really don’t understand why they are not doing it. They should be and probably actually are grateful if someone from the community does the job on their behalf and with their approval.

    I love that German Global rulebook, but it is probably useless for most people around here. And I would certainly appreciate a Global rulebook in English that contains all the hints and advices from the FAQ and the board. Who wouldn’t? 😉

    So I hope you get approval by WotC very soon and start on this project. Would be great!!!

    Best wishes



  • I guess if WOC had plans to do a 1940 Global rulebook, and then I made one and shared it with the public… than they would likely be pissed about that. I know from a friend that asking a company like wizards for permission to share custom materials that they own, is a great way to hear the word NO. Anyway, if I were to do something like this, it would be after I take my InDesign class in December.



  • Hi all, I realize that I’m new, but I couldn’t help but throw my two cents in here with the rest of you. First, I am not an intellectual property expert. But, for what it’s worth, I have graduated law school (not yet admitted to the bar–awaiting test results) and I know a thing or two about reading statutes and case law.

    With that in mind, I would like to point out that while the actual Rulebooks, as creative expressions of the rules of the game (complete with examples, illustrations, etc.) are protected by copyright, the underlying substance of the rules (i.e., the actual game mechanics) are not.  For example:

    • Copy/pasting the two rulebooks and the the FAQ together and then distributing that compilation would almost certainly amount to copyright violation.

    • Creating your own “Global Bible” by writing a unique and original expression of rules that are functionally equivalent to the combined OOB game would most likely not amount to a copyright violation.

    To put it another way: the actual, literal expressions (the form) of the rules as written are protected by copyright. The underlying substance of those rules, i.e., what they actually mean and how they direct the interactions between the players and the components of the game, is not protected. Of course, writing up a new rulebook, complete with your own examples and illustrations, would be a very serious undertaking, but it would also provide an opportunity to clarify many of the ambiguities in the existing rules that have resulted in such extensive discussion on this forum.

    Significantly, this avoids resorting to dubious interpretations of the fair use doctrine, which, by the way, is tantamount to conceding that you have made unauthorized use of copyrighted work, but claiming that it was “fair” to do so under the circumstances. I will touch on the highlights.

    1: Purpose
    Simply referring to your project as “educational” in nature does not legally make it so. For purposes of the fair use doctrine, “educational” means actually used in a classroom or other academic setting. This is more for things like screening a film or making multiple copies of a work to distribute to the whole class.

    Similarly, the non-profit nature of your project is a factor to be considered, but lack of a profit motive does not necessarily imply fair use. Examples of legitimate not-for-profit purposes are contained in the statute itself, to include:“criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research . . . .” 17 U.S.C. § 107.

    2: Nature of the Copyrighted Work
    I have read assertions elsewhere in this thread that the project might qualify as fair use because the rulebook can be described as a “collection of facts.” I don’t know if this is stemming from some notion that the rules are facts (as opposed to opinions), but I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding here as to what this phrase means in the context of copyright law. Typical examples that are regarded as collections of facts are things such as (a) a list of all 50 U.S. states and capitals or (b) a list of all the names and numbers in a phonebook. Those are the types of dry, unoriginal facts that are not protected by copyright. In contrast, the rulebook is a creative expression of the rules that ought to be regarded as a literary product in its own right. That said, I reiterate that the “underlying facts” on which the rulebook is based (game mechanics), when abstracted from the creative expression (the actual words used) are not protected.

    3. The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion used in relation to the Copyrighted Work as a Whole
    Basically, this factor means that quoting some small portion of a work is generally permissible as fair use. The longer the work, the more substantial that quotation can be and still qualify as fair use. I think it should be fairly obvious that copying even the textual portion of two entire rulebooks and an FAQ and more-or-less pasting that text together (admittedly, with some editorializing and alteration) would be far too egregious to be considered “fair” use. I do not mean to imply that this is what you are proposing, merely pointing out an example of something that clearly at the wrong end of the spectrum.

    Also, making minor additions and alterations to a complete work does not thereby “transform” the work and make it original. This is like saying that I could quote the entirety of The Great Gatsby (nevermind that the copyright on this one will expire in a few years), supplement it with a foreword, afterword, and some commentary interspersed in between chapters, claim that I had brilliantly “transformed” Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, and then distribute the monstrosity at will claiming fair use. This is not what fair use means.

    4. Effect of the Use on the Potential Market
    I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head with your last comment. The fact that Wizards chooses to distribute the rulebooks on their website is one factor, but it fails to consider the potential market for a true consolidated “Global” edition.

    TL;DR: copy/paste=bad; reinvent/reinterpret=probably OK.

    Disclaimer:  The above statements are not legal advice.  There is no substitute for consulting with a competent and experienced intellectual property attorney.



  • Fantastic advise, I will write an Axis & Allies Global 1940 Players Handbook with my own words, my own illustrations, and my own format.

    I will start immediately, and my goal will be to finish this project within 1 year.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015

    @Young:

    I guess if WOC had plans to do a 1940 Global rulebook, and then I made one and shared it with the public… than they would likely be pissed about that. I know from a friend that asking a company like wizards for permission to share custom materials that they own, is a great way to hear the word NO. Anyway, if I were to do something like this, it would be after I take my InDesign class in December.

    I’m not a lawyer but I work with the law a lot, so I’ll throw in my two cents not in terms of legal opinions but as a practical consideration where the law is concerned.

    I think you hit the nail on the head here. If they planned to make a 1940 Global rulebook and sell it, then yes they would see your rulebook as a threat, and move to stop you. But the chances of them doing that are virtually zero. Making the rulebook would take a lot of time, and the likelihood of them achieving a significant enough return on investment is also zero. So there’s no incentive for them to make it. That addresses whether they would want to make it, which is different from whether they would want it done at all. My guess is they would be happy for it to exist since it could only serve to increase interest in the game. BUT, from an ownership point of view, they could never officially give you permission to make it. Which is why you would get a “no” if you asked. Which only means that you shouldn’t ask.

    On another front, I’d be happy to volunteer to copy-edit.



  • Thanks… I may take you up on that.



  • Strictly from a fellow G40 enthusiast I think this is a great idea. It would be nice to have a single comprehensive G40 rule book including the FAQ, new illustrations and in depth clarifications. One rule book would certainly help newer players. Hell just a simple table of context showing page number(s) would be awesome to look up rules when certain issues come up in a game for every level of experience. Like you said sometimes you personally know the rule, but are challenged. Be sure to add the starting set-up as well.

    I know you will do an amazing job, but as you know people have a tendency to interpret material in different ways regardless of your efforts. Just saying that this project is going to be a huge undertaking and just because you have a finished document doesn’t mean your project is done. There will be the ongoing need for the “rules expert” that for all intensive purposes will now be you. I know you answer a ton of questions now so that might not be that big of a deal to you. Then as questions come up you may feel the need to edit to include more clarifications. I could easily see G40, G40.2, G40.3……

    Anyway you should defiantly do it for your own group, it will help especially if you add players. You can always decide later if you want to go Global (defiantly a play on words).


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    @Young:

    Fantastic advise, I will write an Axis & Allies Global 1940 Players Handbook with my own words, my own illustrations, and my own format.

    I will start immediately, and my goal will be to finish this project within 1 year.

    As an attorney who does some copyright law, River Rat is right.  Quoting the material verbatim would infringe WofTC copyright unless you get a license.  Not sure the fair use doctrine would apply, that is usually a big “maybe” and depends on the circumstances. A condensed rule book that does have large amounts of original elements created by you for non-profit use might fly.  Also the fact it would be distributed or used by a pretty small number of people in a relatively obscure market for hobby purposes would factor in.

    The real issue however would be if WofTC would even care. The best case scenario is you do it and they give a license or don’t care and do nothing. 
    The worst case scenario would be you ask permission, they ignore you, you go forward, and then they send you a cease and desist letter claiming you owe them money that you don’t have.  You get sued and spend $$$$, making whatever result irrelevant because legal fees bankrupt you.

    I remember DS Kelly got hit with a cease and desist letter from WofTC or something for his battle calculator awhile back.  He had the A&A logos on his site. I think they just agreed he’d take them down.

    You should email Djensen and ask how he got to use all the AA stuff on his site.  He might have a quick contact you can hit up.



  • Thanks Karl,

    My solution is to write a thread here on the forum explaining the Global rules in my own words, I have found this very helpful in the way that I can provide links to my YouTube videos as examples to each rule rather than an illustration, so that in itself is original. I feel I’m safe in this regard because it would be impossible to make a profit from a forum thread, and members would still have the option to print everything for themselves if they want a hard copy of my rule explanations. This project will take a very long time to complete, however, I feel that the need for a single reference of material for Global players is necessary, and it also presents the opportunity to dig deeper into the many complexities of the game. Wether or not I’m doing anything illegal with this approach is still yet to be seen, but my intentions will always be for fan introduction and progression of the game I love.


  • 2018 2017

    There are a number of very detailed, wonky and not very realistic rules in that book, but playing with people who know what they are doing will clarify most things, and unlike the old days where we didn’t understand the rules and so argued over them, the rules of the 2d ed. are pretty clear IF YOU READ THEM.

    If you don’t read them carefully OR play with new, experienced players you’ll be confused.

    But to create an all new rulebook for a game that (if you choose to read it) has a solid set of rules is a huge waste of time.  Most people don’t learn well by abstract examples without application (such as actually playing the game).

    I suggest you take any time spent on a re-write of the rules and spend it 1) reading this forum for new ideas 2) playing the game with your friends instead.



  • @taamvan:

    I suggest you take any time spent on a re-write of the rules and spend it 1) reading this forum for new ideas 2) playing the game with your friends instead.

    I have people in my life telling me regularly that my entire gaming hobby is a waste of time… what do you suggest I tell them?



  • @taamvan:

    There are a number of very detailed, wonky and not very realistic rules in that book, but playing with people who know what they are doing will clarify most things, and unlike the old days where we didn’t understand the rules and so argued over them, the rules of the 2d ed. are pretty clear IF YOU READ THEM.

    If you don’t read them carefully OR play with new, experienced players you’ll be confused.

    But to create an all new rulebook for a game that (if you choose to read it) has a solid set of rules is a huge waste of time.   Most people don’t learn well by abstract examples without application (such as actually playing the game).

    I suggest you take any time spent on a re-write of the rules and spend it 1) reading this forum for new ideas 2) playing the game with your friends instead.

    Why on earth are you being entirely obnoxious to one of the biggest contributors to this site?  What is wrong with you?



  • Thanks for the support innocentbystander, it’s still unknown wether taamvan’s comment was meant to be insulting or not, so I suppose we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Still though, it’s usually not a good idea to tell someone what to do with their time.



  • @Young:

    @taamvan:

    I suggest you take any time spent on a re-write of the rules and spend it 1) reading this forum for new ideas 2) playing the game with your friends instead.

    I have people in my life telling me regularly that my entire gaming hobby is a waste of time… what do you suggest I tell them?

    Tell them to sit down for a game and enjoy the complexity of it.

    I was brought into a game that was on turn 7 of a 6 player game and given Italy because a player had to leave and I had never played before. Italy was in a dire situation at the time and I ended up controlling med the rest of the game, taking and holding Africa and then pressuring Russia even more than Germany already was. This triggered me into becoming very addicted and buying the games myself to play global. I have since gotten my wife into the game and both my kids (11 and 9) want to learn because they are fascinated with my groups gatherings (even though they are far and few between because of distance and work schedules) I’ve watched a good bit of your youtube videos and find them very thought provoking for strategies.
    I’ve only recently made an account here and plan to partake in the forum game play once I can familiarize myself with AAA and the process of forum play.

    The single rule book idea would be great but as everybody else has pointed out, it might be a slippery slope to climb legally.

    sorry to derail from the chat of the rule book. 🙂



  • @Young:

    @taamvan:

    I have people in my life telling me regularly that my entire gaming hobby is a waste of time… what do you suggest I tell them?

    I used to get defensive or vague about my love for A&A.  I just drove 20 hours (round trip) to Tennessee to play and it was amazing.  Now that im back, when people ask why, I smile and say “I love it.”  YG, all of your contributions have been nothing but helpful to me.  I started playing global by myself in February and came home with a trophy this past Monday.  Don’t let anyone ruin your happiness.


  • 2018 2017

    I apologize that you misunderstood my intentions.  If you said re-write the rules for Warhammer 40K to make them clearer, I would say give it a shot because it needs it.    But I feel that the rulebooks for AXA are solid (and would cite the very low number of errata/FAQs as compared to the past) and most confusion comes from not reading them (was referring mostly to myself, not you).  Do whatever you want.



  • @taamvan:

    I apologize that you misunderstood my intentions.  If you said re-write the rules for Warhammer 40K to make them clearer, I would say give it a shot because it needs it.    But I feel that the rulebooks for AXA are solid (and would cite the very low number of errata/FAQs as compared to the past) and most confusion comes from not reading them (was referring mostly to myself, not you).   Do whatever you want.Â

    I disagree that A&A G40 doesn’t need a rewrite, although the rules are well explained… they are scattered over 2 books, and is very difficult to reference specifics. Your argument to comprehend the rules by simply reading them is a valid point, but I work closely with a lot of new players who can’t understand the rules as they’re laid out for many different reasons. My customizations are anything but a waste of time if just one person finds them helpful, I look forward to working on this custom rulebook project, and I won’t need to sacrafice time playing the game with my friends to do so… sorry for the misunderstanding.



  • @drummerinheat:

    @Young:

    @taamvan:

    I have people in my life telling me regularly that my entire gaming hobby is a waste of time… what do you suggest I tell them?

    I used to get defensive or vague about my love for A&A.  I just drove 20 hours (round trip) to Tennessee to play and it was amazing.  Now that im back, when people ask why, I smile and say "I love it."  YG, all of your contributions have been nothing but helpful to me.  I started playing global by myself in February and came home with a trophy this past Monday.  Don’t let anyone ruin your happiness.

    Congrats Drummerinheat, that’s pretty impressive.



  • @taamvan:

    I apologize that you misunderstood my intentions.  If you said re-write the rules for Warhammer 40K to make them clearer, I would say give it a shot because it needs it.    But I feel that the rulebooks for AXA are solid (and would cite the very low number of errata/FAQs as compared to the past) and most confusion comes from not reading them (was referring mostly to myself, not you).   Do whatever you want.

    Hi Taamvan,

    the rules might be solid, but as YG said, the rules for Global are scattered across 2 rulebooks. Here in Germany, the fanbase made a single, merged Global rulebook (in German of course) and it helps A LOT!!!

    Reading and understanding the rules is one thing, not very hard to do. BUT remembering all of them and bringing them into context with each other is a lot more complicated and the practical experience playing Global shows that there a lot of small “problems” occuring due to the fact that the rules are clear, but complex and complected.

    Just look at the FAQ here on the board and the rather huge amount of videos about Global, they show that there is a need for information beyond the rulebooks. Or at least for a rulebook that is not divided into 2 parts, with a few more examples giving practical advice.

    Watching videos on YT also tells you that most people play Global wrong here and there, just because they misinterpret the rules. YG’s short briefing videos are very good examples of situations where most people play wrong, and there are many more such situations.

    Also, the game material lacks some aids that other games in this class come with, which facilitate gameplay a lot. Mostly quick reference cards, information on the gameboard etc etc.
    I have no clue how people can play Global without National-Objective-Cards, I would never be able to keep track of every nations NO’s without them. Or who does seriously play Global without paper money?

    And in the same manner, I would really miss the merged Global rulebook I have access to. It instantly answered many many questions I had after reading through both the rulebooks of Europe and Pacific, where you have to go back and forth, switch between the books etc etc. It is just a huge mess.

    I would at least ask WotC if they allow to make a merged rulebook. I mean they apparently allowed it to the German A&A club… if they refuse, YG can still do it the way he intends to do it now, which will however take a lot of time and might never really be finished. Very huge project…

    Best wishes


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Stauffenberg:

    Reading and understanding the rules is one thing, not very hard to do. BUT remembering all of them and bringing them into context with each other is a lot more complicated and the practical experience playing Global shows that there a lot of small “problems” occuring due to the fact that the rules are clear, but complex and complected.

    Just look at the FAQ here on the board and the rather huge amount of videos about Global, they show that there is a need for information beyond the rulebooks. Or at least for a rulebook that is not divided into 2 parts, with a few more examples giving practical advice.

    Laws are another example of this sort of thing.  To really understand a piece of legislation, you of course need to start with the text of the law itself, but then you often need to add other things…for example the administrative regulations (if any) that govern the application of the law, and the jurisprudence surrounding the law that may have been generated when judges have ruled on court cases that have involved the law.  After laws are initially published in their official form by government printing offices, some of them probably get re-published by commercial publishers in annotated editions which contain both the text of the law itself (what it says) and accompanying legal commentary (providing an opinion on what the law means and how it is customarily applied).  YG’s project sounds like it’s along the lines of such an “annotated edition” and it would have the same kind of usefulness to A&A gamers as such annotated editions have for lawyers, law students, legal schloars and so forth.


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