Alternate Factory Rules (inspired by Halifax)


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    One thing that annoys me about the factory rules in A&A is that the units-per-turn cap gives you an incentive to buy more expensive, higher-tech units in your less developed territories. In 1942.2, for example, Britain wants to pump a large share of its economy into India to hold the line against the Japanese, but they can only build 3 units a turn in India, so they might choose a relatively expensive mix of units, e.g., 1 inf, 1 tnk, 1 fighter. Historically speaking, that’s a little crazy – India’s automotive and aviation industries were negligible compared to England in the 1940s. It’s not that India couldn’t possibly have put together an armored division out of local materials, but that should be a relatively rare exception – the rules should create incentives so that you typically want to use your colonial factories to produce infantry and a bit of artillery, whereas you will typically want to produce big capital ships and planes out of your capital. The OOB factory rules get this incentive exactly backward.

    Another thing that annoys me about the factory rules in A&A is that there’s usually very little room for shades of grey and gradual ramp-ups – you buy a factory for a territory, and wham-O! it’s at full production the next turn. You capture a factory, and again – it’s instantly ready for full production the next turn. Along similar lines, factories cost you exactly the same for a 1-IPC territory (almost useless) as they do for a 4-IPC territory (extremely useful). The 1940 edition rules (and more so the Halifax rules) go part of the way toward fixing this by letting you build Minor Factories and then upgrading them into Major Factories, but the rules don’t always allow you to have a Major Factory, and even when they do, they’re usually too expensive to be worth bothering with.

    So, with these problems in mind, what do people think of switching the factory production limitation from # of units to # of IPCs? My idea is that factories would no longer be limited to 1 per territory. Instead, capitals and major industrial centers would have multiple factories, each of which would be capable of producing up to 5 IPCs’ worth of units per turn. For balance and variety, a lone factory would be able to produce 6 IPCs/turn instead of 5 IPCs/turn.

    | # of Factories | IPCs spendable per turn |
    | 1 | 6 |
    | 2 | 10 |
    | 3 | 15 |
    | 4 | 20 |
    | 5 | 25 |
    | 6 | 30 |
    | 7 | 35 |
    | 8 | 40 |

    Just so the idea is clear, let’s say you have 2 factories in South Africa – you could produce up to 10 IPCs’ worth of units there per turn, which could be 1 inf + 1 tnk, or 3 inf, or 1 DD, or 1 ftr. You can’t ever produce a battleship in a territory with only 2 factories, nor can you produce 4 infantry there – the IPC cost would exceed your limit. However, if the territory is valuable enough, you can build an additional factory (which does not count against your local production limit) and then you’ll have more options on your next turn.

    A factory would cost somewhere in the range of 8 IPCs, and you would only be able to place 1 new factory per territory per turn. The maximum number of factories in a territory is limited to the IPC value of the territory, so India can never have more than 3 factories, Rhodesia can only have 1 factory, and so on. If you capture a territory with factories in it, you destroy half the factories (rounded up) as you march in. For example, if the Japanese capture India with 3 British factories in it, then 2 of those factories would be destroyed. If the British re-occupy India the next turn, the third factory would also be destroyed. Of course, if either player is able to hold the territory for more than one turn, they can start rebuilding the factories up to the max of 3.

    Instead of causing ‘industrial damage,’ strategic bombing runs would have a chance of destroying factories – probably something like this:

    1. Each factory fires anti-air and hits on a roll of 1, killing a bomber if it hits.
    2. Each AAA gun fires anti-air and hits on a roll of 1 or 2, killing a bomber if it hits
    3. Surviving bombers drop bombs and hit on a roll of 4 or less, killing a factory each time they hit.

    This makes ‘casual’ strategic bombing against a major capital less useful, because you’re going to take too much AAA fire to make the bombing run worthwhile, but a sustained strategic bombing campaign can force the opponent to build factories somewhere further away from enemy bases, because it becomes prohibitively expensive to try to keep rebuilding.

    This is just a first draft, so I probably don’t have the balance right – but what do you think of the general idea? Should factories be capped by IPCs spent rather than by units created? Should factories be smaller units that can be stacked numerically, or is it better to have all-or-nothing factories?


  • 2017 '16 '15

    Interesting. I think the idea has merit. The existing model works as well especially form a simplistic stand point. The minor factories limit things appropriately in global imo. One would have to have a huge logistic train if you couldn’t build anything other than infantry and artillery.

    Big world 2 requires captial ships to be built in country captials only. Which is kinda cool. I could definitely see a cool house rool coming out of this. Good idea. : )


  • 2019 '15 '14

    I used to have an HR that restricted the production of “heavy equipment” (ie all units with the exception of infantry) such that they could only be produced at predetermined production centers. The factory unit was removed from the roster entirely as a purchasable unit.

    Any territory not designated a production center was allowed to produce infantry up to the territory value printed on the map.

    Only territories with a production center could be strat bombed.

    It worked reasonably well, because the ability to spam infantry anywhere with an ipc value offset the need to have production centers in places like India. Basically if you wanted to build ships or tanks or fighters or anything other than infantry this had to be done at the specified production core, which was located in territories that made sense for the period.

    Using a system that maintains factories as a purchasable unit, a system lime the one outlined by Argothair might be cool too, though I haven’t tried it, does seem like it would involve a bit more tracking than the HRs I used to play with.

    I agree with analysis that the OOB system is kind of silly. Since it encourages you to produce the heavy equipment in territories with relatively low production values, and spam infantry in territories with high production values, whereas the exact opposite occurred historically. So I can definitely see the argument behind a tweak


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

    @Black_Elk:

    I used to have an HR that restricted the production of “heavy equipment” (ie all units with the exception of infantry) such that they could only be produced at predetermined production centers. The factory unit was removed from the roster entirely as a purchasable unit.  Any territory not designated a production center was allowed to produce infantry up to the territory value printed on the map.

    I found your post very interesting because it made me realize something odd about the OOB rules that I’d never noticed previously.  The rules define land units as being infantry, artillery, mechanized infantry, tanks and antiaircraft artillery (all of which is fine), and the rules also say that “Industrial complexes are the point of entry for all purchased air, land, and sea units,” which sounds straightforward enough at first glance.  The implication, however, is that infantry units are created in industrial complexes – in other words, that soldiers are produced in factories.  Huh?  This was admittedly the method used to produce the mechanical battle droids and the organic clone troopers in the Star Wars prequels, and there was even a sequence in one of Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight” WWII propaganda films implying that the Nazis created assembly-line children “to be scientifically trained for conquest”…but in real life soldiers aren’t produced in factories.  For the OOB rules to make sense, ICs would need to be interpreted as actually representing “factories and military training camps”, but the rules don’t say that; they refer to ICs as “factories” a couple of times, but never state or even imply that they’re military training facilities.

    So this raises an interesting house rule possibility.  The rules have a section called “Industrial Complexes and Bases (Facilities)”, which discusses three such unit types: ICs (both major and minor), air bases, and naval bases.  What if we were to create a fourth unit type (which could be called army bases or military bases or army camps or something along those lines) which would represent infantry training facilities and which would serve as the point of entry for infantry units?  This would not only make more sense than the idea of producing soldiers in factories, it would also potentially serve as a tool for adjusting the game balance (or modifying the game for other purposes) by establishing special rules which govern where these army bases could be placed.  Setting up a training camp (at its most basic minimum consisting of an empty field and some tents) in the real world is potentially a lot easier than setting up a bricks-and-mortar factory, so the rules for placing these camps on the game board could be quite flexible.  And this could have an interesting implication: a player power could “produce” its infantry units for itself in a territory belonging to a friendly power, as long as there was a friendly training camp there, rather than being restricted to producing them on its own territories.  The US and Canada, to give just one example, had a great number of camps in the UK in the years leading up to D-Day.  And just to expand on that particular point, this army camp concept could solve an issue that’s been raised in relation to making Canada a separate player power: the problem that its income would be lost to the UK (to whom it normally belongs) and that Canada would have to produce all of its units domestically then ship them across the ocean.  Under the army camp model, Canada would still have to produce its non-infantry equipment domestically, but it could “produce” infantry units right in the UK itself from 1940 onward without having to ship them by sea.



  • But even if the soldiers are trained out in the bush, they still need a factory to manufacture their rifles, helmets, boots, uniforms etc etc. I believe like 10 000 Norwegians drafted to the SS during the war, but not one of them was trained or dressed up here in Norway. All of them had to go to a camp in Germany, and when the training was finished, they were sent to Finland by ships and trains. So to model this in the A&A game, will this specific Norwegian SS infantry unit pop up in Finland, or in Norway ? In my head, they would pop up in Germany, like they did in the real war.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Very interesting ideas, everyone. This is a cool discussion.

    Barney, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that you can only ever build infantry and artillery at your colonial factories – only that you’ll have to develop them a bit more if you want to build the bigger stuff. You can still build 1 tank per turn even at the smallest factory, and if the territory is worth at least 2 IPCs, then you can build a second factory there that will let you drop a fighter, destroyer, sub, transport, etc.

    Black_Elk, I like your idea for producing infantry in any territory you occupy, although I’m not sure I’m keen on what it does to the front line – I might prefer to say you can build infantry in any originally controlled territory up to its IPC value. Although that raises a question – was there any real difference between territories where occupiers could hope to raise reinforcements and territories where they couldn’t? I want to say something like “Oh, the Americans were liberators, so they could probably recruit volunteers just about anywhere,” but as Narvik points out, the Nazis managed to get volunteers from many of the countries they occupied. I believe the Japanese were planning on recruiting Indian volunteers from among the anti-British groups there after eliminating British colonial rule. Even if you can’t get local volunteers, maybe you can get local slave labor that frees up more manpower from your home country to enlist, and/or maybe the locals build you your helmets and uniforms and guns.

    CWO_Marc, I love the idea of a “Barracks” unit that churns out infantry. As you say, it should be relatively cheap, and you should be able to build it just about anywhere – maybe anywhere with at least 1 IPC. Maybe this is a way of reducing the excess ‘tracking’ that Black_Elk was complaining about.

    | Min. Territory Value | Facility | Facility Cost | Allows Construction of |
    | 1 | Barracks | 5 IPCs | up to 3 inf / turn |
    | 2 | Minor Factory | 8 IPCs | up to 3 art, AAA, tank, trans, or DD / turn |
    | 3 | Naval Base | 12 IPCs | up to 3 ships / turn |
    | 3 | Air Base | 12 IPCs | up to 3 planes / turn |
    | 4 | Major Factory | 20 IPCs | up to 8 units / turn |

    That system would be more fiddly in that there are more facilities to understand, but once you understand the facilities, it’s fairly clear what you can build where – you don’t have to keep recalculating IPC totals. I’m still interested in other ideas for trying to pare the alternative factory system down a bit. Anyone have any suggestions?


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

    @Argothair:

    That system would be more fiddly in that there are more facilities to understand, but once you understand the facilities, it’s fairly clear what you can build where – you don’t have to keep recalculating IPC totals.

    Actually, when I mentioned air bases and naval bases in my discussion of the army training base concept, it wasn’t my intention to suggest that air units be produced at air bases or that sea units be produced at naval bases.  In real life, air bases don’t manufacture their own aircraft and naval bases don’t manufacture their own ships (although both base types do sometimes have maintenance / repair facilities, ranging from minor to extensive, and although naval bases are sometimes located near shipyards).


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Oh, fair enough. I know a naval base isn’t the same thing as a shipyard, and in a game about only two countries fighting one war (e.g., the Battle of Britain, or the Spanish Civil War), it would be important to keep track of the distinction between the two. In a global grand strategy game, though, I think it’s a reasonable enough approximation to hand-wave the two kinds of bases together – I think the kinds of players who want to keep track of shipyards and naval bases separately for ten different countries will be better served by something like Europe Engulfed or World at War than by Axis & Allies, no matter how much we load A&A up with house rules.

    Besides, I’ve always liked the idea of having different kinds of specialized production centers, because it gives you a more meaningful choice about what kind of strategic bombing campaign to run and where to run it – if the only kind of damage I can do is “cost you IPCs,” then bombing is more or less the same no matter where I target. But if I can choose to knock out your only airbase in the region, crippling your supply chain of planes to a key front, that’s kind of awesome.


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

    I agree that it’s simpler to have this four-part model (five-part if you differentiate minor and major ICs)…

    • Training camps which are the entry points for infantry
    • ICs (minor and major) which are the entry points for land weapons
    • Naval facilities which are both shipyards (entry points for ships) and which serve as OOB naval bases
    • Air facilities which are both aircraft plants (entry points for planes) and which serve as OOB air bases

    …than this six-part model (seven-part if you differentiate minor and major ICs)…

    • Training camps which are the entry points for infantry
    • ICs (minor and major) which are the entry points for land weapons
    • Naval shipyards (entry points for ships)
    • OOB naval bases
    • Aircraft plants (entry points for planes)
    • OOB air bases

    …but what I was proposing wasn’t a six-part model, it was actually a different kind of four-part model (five-part if you differentiate minor and major ICs):

    • Training camps which are the entry points for infantry
    • ICs (minor and major) which are the entry points for non-infantry equipment
    • OOB naval bases
    • OOB air bases

    In other words, I was talking about a minimalist change that only alters one thing from the OOB rules: the entry point for infantry.

    If, however, one were to expand the concept to create further differentiation between the entry points for all unit types (a concept that could be a lot of fun to play with), then naturally a more complex system (for instance such as the one you describe) would be required.


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    We use a simple system - a nod to the classic game - there is only one kind of factory - costs 15 IPCs and can make up to 10 units per turn. Can be placed ANYWHERE.

    This is acceptable if you think of it like Larry Harris originally did - the factories were actually factories/supply centers. They were gateways to introduce new units to the map. Units aren’t necessarily produced at factory sites, but they are introduced there.

    Argothair, I totally agree with you on the strange purchases a “minor factory” causes - your solution sounds pretty good, although the bombing rules you suggest sound kind of harsh.



  • @Der:

    We use a simple system - a nod to the classic game - there is only one kind of factory - costs 15 IPCs and can make up to 10 units per turn. Can be placed ANYWHERE.

    This is acceptable if you think of it like Larry Harris originally did - the factories were actually factories/supply centers. They were gateways to introduce new units to the map. Units aren’t necessarily produced at factory sites, but they are introduced there.

    Argothair, I totally agree with you on the strange purchases a “minor factory” causes - your solution sounds pretty good, although the bombing rules you suggest sound kind of harsh.

    Do you use the Classic SBR rules as well where you just surrender IPCs right away in the amount of damage rolled… or do you adapt the repair damage system from G40?


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @Young:

    Do you use the Classic SBR rules as well where you just surrender IPCs right away in the amount of damage rolled… or do you adapt the repair damage system from G40?

    We use the damage chip system from G40 - 10 damage and you can no longer place units there, 20 damage limit. We also use the classic AA guns.

    As soon as you tie your production to the number on the territory, the game eventually becomes repetitive, with units going mainly into the high value territories. The same big battles are fought over the same territories. We have found it more fun to be able to put a factory anywhere on the map that produces/supplies up to 10 units. With this system, different parts of the map like Africa or even Australia can become hot spots.


  • Customizer

    This whole idea of building factories, or using captured ones, is nonsense.

    I allow no new factories.

    A 3rd type of placement area (infantry only) is used for tts such as India and Japanese occupied China (Nanking).

    When a tt with a factory is captured, the factory is removed and the victor can claim a cash bonus as loot. It is assumed that the area is stripped of all useful industrial base.

    If a power loses all of its factories & placement areas it is defeated (permanently out of the game).

    If such a tt is subsequently “liberated” the liberator takes control and can place infantry there up to the IPC value of the tt - the previous presence of a factory is ignored.

    The example justifying the above is France 1944. French armies appeared for the rest of the war, but they wore American uniforms and used American equipment.

    USSR starts with an industrial complex in the Urals - the Glorious Chelyabinsk tractor factory.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    It’s nice to hear such a strong opinion, but I disagree that it should be impossible for countries to build new factories during the game – I think the powers built up previously rural areas into major industrial centers during the six-year course of the war, and that they could have chosen to do even more along those lines if they had made it a higher priority. I believe San Francisco, Chelyabinsk, Rio, Rome, and Manchukuo all tripled their industrial production during this time frame.

    I do like your looting rules – I think the way A&A lets you take over an enemy factory and start using it at full strength the next turn is pretty much garbage. If you look at my looting rules, they have a similar (if less intense) effect – in practice, most industrial centers will only be able to produce infantry after changing hands twice. I think a certain amount of ahistorical ability to make use of opponents’ production centers is fun and exciting – it would be boring if all your troops had to come from your own capital for the entire game – but I think the OOB rules take things too far.


  • Customizer

    Its one thing to increase the output of an industrial zone, quite another to build one from scratch. Even in the case of the USSR, the new factories established in the east were built largely from industrial base evacuated from western Russia. It would be authentic to allow the Soviets to transport a factory from say Ukraine to the Urals, but this would be very much the exception.

    Major war materials were all built in home countries - it was more efficient for America to build tanks in Detroit and ship them overseas than to set up factories in Morocco or Norway.


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