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G40 Redesign (currently taking suggestions)


  • '14

    edit: This thread is mainly for the gathering of HR ideas for use in G40. Recently some of this material has been organized together in a standard package with customizable HRs for use in tripleA. The goal is to draft and implement House Rules ideas that can be used both on the table top and digitally, so there is a bit of back and forth. There is also a Mod for the Global game in tripleA, called Balanced Mod, which is described in the middle of the thread. One feature of this mod created by regularkid and others, is the Franco-German Armistice ie. “Vichy” rules for use in G40. As well as other concepts, like the Marine unit. This one can be downloaded from the depot for those who are interested. A bunch of other rules and ideas are touched on at various points, including victory conditions, objectives, unit tweaks etc. Have fun digging
    😄


    The idea is this, a redesign of G40 from the ground up!

    Taking CWO Marc’s suggestion, I thought I would start a new thread and take input from everybody. If at least 10 people express an interest I will move forward with it and begin the process of creating a tripleA game file.

    I think for this to work, it would have to be a collaborative design.

    Pretty much everything is on the table at this point. Pretty much, although I would suggest the following. That we keep the 1940 start date, and the same essential game materials/ same basic combat mechanics, so its easy to adopt (and port into tripleA.)

    Some ideas to get us started…

    A new turn order.
    A new starting unit set up, distribution.
    New Objectives.
    New Victory Conditions/treatment of VCs
    Stronger China.
    A more interesting opener for the minor powers France, Italy, Anzac.
    A single UK player nation.
    New handling of the Non Agression Pact between Japan and Russia.
    New production profiles.

    For that last I thought I’d just mention 1 idea that I think might be cool.

    Retain the Major factory as the main production hub, but replace the Minor Factory with a new type of base unit.

    This “minor factory” forward Base can be placed in any territory (on islands or zero ipc tiles etc) but it only produces infantry, 2 or 3 per turn.

    I think such a unit could be used, along with naval bases, air bases and objectives, to create a real war over the Pacific islands. Even more than lack of income, it is the lack of forward production that makes island hoping a rather poor attack plan for Japan/USA.  But a simple way to get 3 infantry out of a territory with a starting base, or the ability to buy new bases would I think change this dynamic considerably.
    They could also be useful in other areas of the map, such as in Africa, Scandinavia, China etc. Where the ability to produce infantry would still allow the areas to be contested, but without the distorting effects of produce mech/armor, or warships. If captured by the enemy the base is destroyed. What to do with the remaining Major factory unit is an open Q, whether to keep it the same or tweak it to fit with the new scheme.

    That is just one idea, I’m not sure if it’s worth pursuing or popular enough to support a redesign of the production scheme. But it seems like a base would be a bit more flexible than a minor factory. Just off the top of the head.

    What would you like to see out of a redesigned G40?


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

    Good idea to have started a separate thread on this.  I’ll be happy to contribute ideas as the discussion moves along (if there’s the required level of interest from others), though I’ll mainly limit myself to things like general game concepts and historical background, since those are the only parts of the A&A modeling that I feel comfortable with.

    Just to clarify what suggestion of mine Black Elk is talking about, he’s referring to my post from today in this thread…

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=36436.45

    …which I won’t summarize here, since the original can simply be consulted in full if needed.

    Black Elk’s idea to “Retain the Major factory as the main production hub, but replace the Minor Factory with a new type of base unit. This “minor factory” forward Base can be placed in any territory (on islands or zero ipc tiles etc) but it only produces infantry, 2 per turn.” is an interesting one.  I don’t know if the minor IC in its current form should be discarded altogether, but I like the idea of a facility (perhaps an addition to rather than a replacement of the minor IC type) that produces only infantry; an idea along these likes was kicked around on an earlier thread somewhere, and I think it was conceptualized basically as kind of army troop-training camp.  It doesn’t “manufacture” soldiers in the same literal sense that tanks are manufactured’; rather, it serves as the entry point for infantry on the game board, and in real-world terms it essentially represents the staging ground where troops who’ve already received their basic training in boot camp are assembled and given their final training before being deployed in actual combat.  Such camps don’t require the kind of heavy infrastructure that a factory does, so Black Elk’s concept that they could be set up in minor locations like 0-IPC islands would work fine for facilities of this nature.  A variant of (or supplement to) this idea might be to make them alliance-specific rather than nation-specific, so that (let’s say) a country like France which has lost its own capital could deploy new infantrymen from (let’s say) a troop-training camp located in British territory.


  • '14

    Yeah that was definitely what I was shooting for, “base camps” or “ground bases.” It’s got a certain ring to it. And then you’d have a base type for each arena of conflict, air naval and ground.

    The only reason I thought maybe to nix the minor factory altogether, is so that these cardboard chips would be available to fill the new spot in the roster. The current minor factory has the numeral 3 clearly marked on it, so if going for a replacement scheme (rather than adding a new piece to the mix) this might recommend up to 3 infantry units mobilized at the ground base.

    One goal that might be worth pursuing, is not to change any of the information that is graphically represented on the map. So if G40 says territory X = Y ipcs, and Y is drawn on the map, it’s probably best not to change this.

    For the Major factory at least, we’d likely need to keep with the OOB scheme, or at least something similar to it, where the production value of the factory is not tied to the Ipc value of the territory where it’s housed (as opposed to say the 1942.2 scheme, where production caps at the ipc value of the territory.) This is because Global features several territories, which are only worth 3 ipcs or less, but which are intended as major production hubs. For example Moscow is only worth 3, but can produce 10 units from the Major factory.

    In the past, an idea was explored to increase the number of production profiles from the 2 factory types in OOB, to 3 factory production types: Major, Mid, Minor etc, but I’m not sure that is necessary if you had a ground base for infantry. For one thing, it would be a bit simpler to just have 1 type of factory. You have major production centers “Industrial Complexes” for the heavy hitting units, and then minor infantry-focused bases to help get the fodder to the front. This would mitigate somewhat the need for so many transports, and would likely allow us to keep the current costs/abilities of the transport unit, with less grumbling from players about how weak they are for the cost. The bases would take some of the burden off the transport units.

    I think it would also help to manage the Japanese tank drive, which often relies on the spamming of minor factories OOB. Here they could still expand, with their ground bases, but the unit type they spawn is exclusively infantry from such bases, which would mean a more limited scope of attack (against China/India/Russia for example).

    I think there are probably several instances where a major factory could be all we’d need in the unit roster. Instead of downgrading it, it could just be destroyed when captured. You could keep similar restrictions in place as to where they can be located (only originally controlled territories at 3 ipcs or greater in value) but the cost could probably be reduced from 30 ipcs, if you wanted to make them “autodestruct” upon capture.

    This reminds me of another goal I think it would be worth exploring…

    New Capital Capture rules…

    Some players have expressed an interest in ideas like, ‘capital capture only loots half of the vanquished nation’s treasury.’ Or have mentioned a preference for a system where a conquered power can still collect income or produce units, declare a new capital, or other alternatives of that sort. As opposed to the OOB dynamic, where the Capital is always the “ultimate end”, and once their capital is captured the vanquished nation is effectively out of play.

    Changing the rules for looting a capital, or for changing the way capitals connect to the rest of the game would definitely change one of the main drivers of the current gameplay patterns OOB. I am particularly interested in how VCs might be made more significant to the gameplay. Perhaps nerfing the “loot” when you take a capital, but compensating for this by providing a cash incentive or looting incentive for the conquest of VCs. Basically reducing the Capitals significance from the be all end all (as it is currently), but at the same time transforming VCs into mini capitals of their own. You know where some cash bonus or penalty attends to them, the way it does to capitals OOB.

    I think this would be extremely helpful in “encouraging” alternative play patterns, and giving the game a different thrust than OOB, but still using the same basic G40 map and core materials.

    Any thoughts?


  • '14

    Here’s another, perhaps simpler question to consider… Is there anything specific in the starting unit set up, or production spread that you would like to see?

    Anything unit-wise in the OOB game that seems off from a gameplay perspective? or particularly out of sync with the history and the historical distribution of forces in 1940?

    I know in previous mods we’ve seen requests for things like…

    *An air base and fighter in Ontario, RCAF “Air Training command.”

    *An air base in Alaska, “Northern Trace.”

    *A strategic bomber for Russia, “Night Witch.”

    *A few more tanks in the Soviet interior, “Tankograd.”

    *Another fighter in China, for more aerial kung fu, “Dual Flying Tigers.”

    *A naval base and a decent French force in West Africa, “Dakar.”
    (this could bring up the additional question of how to handle French ‘liberated territory’, when their capital is kaput. Whether control of the territory should be awarded to the first nation who moves units into the space? or some other similar scheme)

    Or just more generally, some bases of one type or another, on various island territories that don’t otherwise have much gameplay value OOB, such as Sicily, Marshall islands, Marianas, Crete etc. “No more worthless islands”

    Any other ideas along these lines?

    We did this once for Revised (back before AA50 came out) with a tripleA game called Pact of Steel. It was meant to demonstrate the possibility of Italy as a player nation, which was still novel at the time. We could do something similar with G40, modding the OOB game to explore new ideas. Unlike Pact of Steel though, I think we should try to use the OOB territory and sea zone divisions, and the OOB ipc distribution (not redrawing the map), with a focus mainly on starting units and objectives.

    Assuming that the OOB board is at least somewhat historically accurate in its distribution of forces, we could begin as we did with Pact of Steel in Revised, by building backwards from the OOB set up, but adding or substracting units (within reason) to create a new gameplay dynamic (especially for the opener, but also the endgame), while retaining the same basic feel.

    Takers?


  • 2017 2016 2015

    I’d play a redesign. Probably don’t want to change too much at once, Sounds like you already got a pretty good list for starters with the soviet/japan nap, turn order, valueless islands, new NOs, new factory unit etc…

    Maybe make a hard list and let people comment on that. Kinda like redrum did with the ai. Just for a starting point anyway.

    Personally I like the islands being worth a buck. Throw in a couple 3 island group NOs that would double them to 6 bucks or something to that effect. Small enough you might go for them but not so big you say screw it. I give the med guys a buck as well.

    IDK if you’d want to totally 86 the minor because I could see a lot of air hevy/ infantry combos out there at the expense of mech. But IDK you’ll obviously have to test all of it. Get something playable and improve it from there. Of course you already know that 🙂


  • '14

    I think in terms of turn order, something that has 6 roughly equal blocks (equal in terms of play-time/relevance to the game round.) Or to put it another way 6 save games in a PBEM, PBF back and forth. Alternating exchanges where each of the 3 minor Allied nations is attached to one of the Major Allies, separated in the round by the 3 Axis nations. Or at least, that this should be the way it breaks down after the first round leading into the second.

    For something cohesive that isn’t too distorted might try

    USA, China
    Germany
    Russia, France
    Japan
    UK, Anzac
    Italy

    If you dislike the idea of allowing the USA to have 1 free round to purchase/build and start the game, you could always open with China and close the round with USA. The same basic sequence described above would develop, as USA/China naturally piggy pack turns/saves from round 2 on.

    Or some similar grouping, where each Major Allied Nation is followed by a Minor one.

    Right now I was thinking the above order would be interesting even on the OOB board with the OOB DoW rules.

    USA gets 1 round to build, and China goes before Japan so they can position defensively.
    Then Germany opens.

    Russia and France are fairly straightforward, but depending on whether you design France to fall on G1 or G2, you could give those nations more to do initially.

    That’s another thing. What are your thoughts on the starting Russian naval units?

    This seems like a good oppertunity to build some small Russian fleets into the set up. Give those sculpts some use. But where? And of what unit composition? I think it would be nice to see a Russian battleship for once.



  • Sounds like a pretty huge project, I will try to participate in a small way as I am currently taking on a massive customization.

    There have been some interesting ideas surrounding the whole Vichy France dynamic, but thats a bit of a Pandora’s box. For now I would like to propose some small changes that might be widely accepted.

    1. Bombers only receive the +2 damage bonus to factories if they have departed from an operational airbase (that’s if the whole SBR system is still recognizable after the redesign).

    2. Damaged battleships may not conduct shore bombardments, the penalty for keeping an aircraft carrier damaged is that they can’t hold planes, damaged battleships should suffer greater consequences as well (that’s if the whole naval combat system is still recognizable after the redesign).


  • 2017 2016 2015

    that’d be a interesting turn order. IDK if having ANZAC canopen for the US would cause Japan some major problems or not


  • '14

    On the other hand though, an Anzac can opener might be just the ticket, to making that player nation feel a bit more relevant to the War.
    😄

    Again thinking more on Russian ships. A naval base in Amur might be fun. Or a mini fleet in sz 5. Something like this might allow for a more interesting Soviet investment in the events of the Pacific, or perhaps could be used somehow for the NAP dynamic with Japan. Another candidate would be sz 128 the Caspian sea. Which might be interesting/relevant to the game if it housed a transport and a warship. Sz 100 could likewise support a transport and some ships I think. Sz 4 with the lonely sub, might get a tiny upgrade. Things of that sort. Just thinking it might be enjoyable if a few more soviet naval sculpts had a reason for existing in the box. Who knows, if they had something to start with, the Russians might even expand their naval ambitions at some point haha. Though really, the idea is mainly for novelty.


  • '14

    Ps. Another idea for a land base that’s been kicked around before, is that they are used to mobilize units from an Industrial complex (units that already exist, during the non combat phase) rather than spawning new units per se.

    In that case you might make the base like a suped up transport. It can mobilize 2 infantry units from your Industrial Complexes to your base during non combat.

    This could embody whatever historical logistics would have made sense from the IC to the base. Whether an island base in the middle of the sea, or like a rail hub at the end of a long line. The ground base unit could be abstracted to cover both. But it’s a one time movement, IC to Base, moving the units out (not base to base, or base to IC.)

    2 inf per base might be a bit less overpowered than 3 inf, but would still provide a definite advantage for infantry movement. Then reserve the transports for the movement of the heavy equipment (or yet more infantry) the way they currently do.

    I admit my main motivation in trying to come up with a workable base idea (as an alternative to the minor factory spam) is as a way to prevent the Mech drive from Japan. If desired you could transport them over or spawn them in Korea, but it wouldn’t be this endless train of mech and tanks spawned at coastal factories and them slamming across China into India/Russia.

    It would also make the spawning of fleets a bit more realistic since that would have to be done at a coastal IC.

    Basically just a couple ICs for each power and then supplemented where it makes sense by starting bases of one sort or another.

    You could actually attempt a similar mobilization scheme for all base types. Spawned at the factory on placement, 1 or 2 units can be moved from the IC to a base on non combat (a base of the corresponding type: air, naval, or ground.) That would be a fairly dramatic tweak to the game’s normal system of logistics and movement, but it might be fun. It would definitely allow for some interesting movement strategies, IC to base movement, with the repositioning of forces on non com.

    I think this would feel somehow more realistic within the vague outline of time that the game tries to capture. If the number of units that could move this way was restricted to some small number per base.

    I suggested 2 infantry. But even if it was just a single air or naval unit for those base types that might be entertaining.

    One fighter at a base where you need it. One battleship. Or 2 infantry units.

    Again just musing here. I’ll try to keep a list, and add to it as I get more feedback on what interests people.

    Oh and I like the SBR and damage rules that YG mentioned.

    Things like this would help to further enhance the role and importance of “operational” bases in the game. One cool thing about a 3rd base type on the ground, is that it could serve as another bombing target!

    If damaging a base also prevented unit mobilization, this would be a huge incentive to use the Tactical bomber the way it was originally intended… As a way to bomb bases!

    Here the TacB would have a real role to play in the game, since the ability to shut down a unit mobolization might be worth the risk of built in aa fire, even if the cost in ipcs is comparatively minor.


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

    Lots of detailed proposals to read here, which is great.  I’ll go through them today as time permits and post any comments that I might have.

    Regarding the proposed new facility that would serve as the entry point for infantry, I’d favour a short, simple, fairly generic term like “army base” or “army camp.”  Something close, in other words, to the existing facility terms of “air base” and “naval base.”  As for this element…

    “The only reason I thought maybe to nix the minor factory altogether, is so that these cardboard chips would be available to fill the new spot in the roster. The current minor factory has the numeral 3 clearly marked on it, so if going for a replacement scheme (rather than adding a new piece to the mix) this might recommend up to 3 infantry units mobilized at the ground base.”

    …my feeling is that this wouldn’t be optimal for a number of reasons.  First, it gets rid of an existing facility on the grounds that its marker is needed for a different new facility, not on the grounds that the existing facility itself is problematic.  I see the minor IC as being a valid and useful unit, filling a niche between a major IC and no IC at all.  Second, the minor IC marker is conceptually problematic for use as an army camp marker because it conveys the impression that soldiers are manufactured in factories (which they aren’t), because part of the rationale for allowing the army camps to be built in minor locations is that they don’t require as much infrastructure as factories, and because 3 might not necessarily be the best choice for the number of infantry that enter the game through army camps (though it may very well be fine).  My feeling is that it would be better to seek an alternate marker for army camps.  One possibility would be these HBG special forces markers…

    http://www.historicalboardgaming.com/Special-Forces_c_301.html

    …which are nation-specific in design.  My preference would be for a generic army camp marker (which perhaps HBG might consider producing, preferably as one of its attractive square acrylic markers), but on the other hand purchasing one set of special forces markers for each player power would provide each player with about a dozen army camp markers, which sounds like a convenient number to me.


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

    @Black_Elk:

    This seems like a good oppertunity to build some small Russian fleets into the set up. Give those sculpts some use. But where? And of what unit composition? I think it would be nice to see a Russian battleship for once.

    Just as background information: in WWII, the USSR basically had two major and two minor fleets.  Its largest numbers of warships, and its most powerful warship types, were allocated to the Baltic (based near Leningrad) and the Black Sea (based in the Crimea).  The USSR had much smaller fleets, consisting mainly of light forces, in the White Sea (based, I think, at Arkhangelsk) and on its Pacific coast (based at Vladivostok).


  • 2018 2017 2016

    @Black_Elk:

    Or just more generally, some bases of one type or another, on various island territories that don’t otherwise have much gameplay value OOB, such as Sicily, Marshall islands, Marianas, Crete etc. “No more worthless islands”

    That’s a good idea, could add air bases to Sicily and Malta to spice up the Mediterranean like Oztea did in his 41 scenario. Would also add a naval base to West Indies. Not terribly useful but represents Vieques as well as our presence in Guantanamo and Culebra.

    Also I’m biased since I work for a company with a sister office in Bombay but it would be nice for that side of India to get representation as well, so all is not lost when Calcutta falls. Maybe a minor IC and a naval base, and to compensate the major in India is downgraded to a minor.


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

    @Black_Elk:

    Ps. Another idea for a land base that’s been kicked around before, is that they are used to mobilize units from an Industrial complex (units that already exist, during the non combat phase) rather than spawning new units per se.
    In that case you might make the base like a suped up transport. It can mobilize 2 infantry units from your Industrial Complexes to your base during non combat.
    This could embody whatever historical logistics would have made sense from the IC to the base. Whether an island base in the middle of the sea, or like a rail hub at the end of a long line. The ground base unit could be abstracted to cover both. But it’s a one time movement, IC to Base, moving the units out (not base to base, or base to IC.)

    I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around this one…I guess mainly because I’m not sure what you’re visualizing here, at least in real-world terms.  The deployment of units in WWII from factory to battlefield varied tremendously depending on multiple factors.  For example, a US tank in 1945 might be manufactured in a Detroit factory, shipped by rail to the East Coast, transported by freighter across the Atlantic and shipped by rail to a point near the front, where it would drive by road and ultimately cross-country into combat.  By contrast, some Soviet tanks in 1941 and 1942 drove more or less out the factory doors and straight into battle.  Ships were built on slipways or in drydock, launched, fitted out, sent on builder’s trials, accepted by the navy, commissioned, sent on shake-down and training cruises, and eventually deployed for operations; in all of these operations (except the journey to the fitting-out basin), they were essentially self-propelled.  US-manufactured aircraft with sufficient range would be picked up at the factory by military pilots, ferried across the ocean under their own power using the shortest route possible (such as Newfoundland to Ireland) or multiple hops (stopping to refuel at places like Hawaii) and eventually they’d reach their assigned bases; smaller planes with insufficient range would be delivered fully-functional by aircraft carriers or shipped disassembled in crates.


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

    I’ve been thinking about the issue of victory conditions.  It’s a pretty fundamental aspect of the game because all the actions of the players (if they want to win) ultimately have to take into consideration whether they advance the players towards fulfilling those conditions.  (To express it in circular terms: the way to win the game is to do what it takes to win the game.)

    I don’t have any kind of detailed system to propose as an alternate to G40’s current model of using victory cities, but I’ve been trying to think about what kind of other approaches might be worth considering.  My first notion was to try to figure out how Germany and Japan could actually have won WWII, but I quickly dropped that line of inquiry for various reasons.  First, this approach assumed that Germany and Japan could actually have won the war, or at least (and perhaps more achievably) fought the Allies to a sustainable stalemate.  That assumption would have produced some lively debate (including in my own mind).  Second, this approach wouldn’t necessarily have resolved the issue of what the victory conditions for the Allies should be in the game.  So I decided to explore other avenues.

    The notion I’m currently looking at is this.  What if the victory conditions for the game somehow (and at this stage I have no idea of how this “somehow” would work) depended on how well the Allies and the Axis were respectively “doing” in various sub-components of the war?  By sub-components, I’m referring to certain specific types of campaigns that were fought in certain specific theatres of WWII.  In my first (and so far only) look at this concept, I deliberately ignored whether any of these campaigns are actually modeled into the existing OOB G40 game; instead, I took a big step back and tried to look at the history of WWII from an extremely broad perspective, so see if I could identify and isolate the most significant regional campaigns of the war.

    In doing this analysis, I decided to exclude from consideration the earliest and latest phases of both the war in Europe and the war in the Pacific.  In the early phases of both conflicts, Germany and Japan rolled over their opponents in a seemingly unstoppable way.  In the late phases, both countries were being driven back relentlessly by the Allies.  Both phases were relatively short and highly unbalanced, so in this sense they’re not good representations of the central period of the war when the global fight was at its height and its outcome was still an open question.  So in my analysis, I excluded from the European side the period from the start of the war (September 1939) to the fall of France (June 1940), I excluded on the Pacific side the period from the start of the war (December 1941) to the fall of the Dutch East Indies (March 1942), and I excluded from both sides the period from June 1944 onward (which I picked because that’s when D-Day fundamentally changed the war in western Europe).

    I was hoping that I’d end up with an equal number of campaign/theatre pairings for both the Europe and Pacific sides of the G40 map, and I was pleased that I was able to achieve this equal distribution without distorting the war too much – though I did have to be very selective about what to include and what to leave out.  Here’s the list I eventually came up with:

    EUROPE MAP

    Eastern Europe

    • The German-Soviet land war

    Western and Central Europe

    • The Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign against Germany

    The Atlantic and the North Sea

    • The German naval campaign against Allied merchant shipping

    The Mediterranean

    • The battles for North Africa and Southern Europe

    PACIFIC MAP

    The Central Pacific

    • The struggle for control of island bases in the Central Pacific

    The Southern and Western Pacific

    • The battles for the Solomons and New Guinea

    Southeast Asia

    • The struggle for Burma and the threat to India

    China

    • The ten-million-man Sino-Japanese stalemate in partially-occupied China

    As I said, this isn’t a victory condition system because this list makes no connection at all with any of the A&A game mechanics.  It’s simply something I’m tossing into the discussion in case it’s of any use for the development of an alternative (or supplement) to the current victory city model.


  • '14

    Great feedback!

    First to the army base idea, its probably reasonable to assume that, anyone who is willing to mod the whole game, is probably willing to find a gamepiece marker that could represent this base, which would remove the need nix the minor factory.

    Trying to change the OOB production profiles might just be more effort than its worth, but the adding of a new base unit is probably doable.

    I mentioned the idea just as a jumping off point, and was trying to highlight the bases a bit, just because they are the unit (even moreso than Mech or TacBs) that makes the G40 game feel pretty distinct from its predecessors.

    On the whole, I’m still not even sure that I like the OOB base units haha. But they certainly introduce another layer of complexity to the gameplay. At least from a PBEM/PBF standpoint, scrambling at Air Bases definitely stalls the exchange, but then again in a face to face game, the scramble can be fun hehe. I’ve often wondered how the OOB G40 map would play, if base units were just removed from the roster altogether? and if the map would even be fun to play without bases. I think the map could probably have been designed without base units and still be functional, but trying to remove ABs and NBs at this point would probably cut out the fun and run into serious resistance.

    Adding a new “land base” unit of some sort seems like it could create some new interest for the game. In practical gameplay terms, I had conceived of the army base as a nerfed factory (a factory that produced only infantry) and didn’t do much beyond that. There are other ways though, that an army base might be conceived, ways a bit more like the other two base types Air/Naval.

    One earlier idea that was discussed involved a land base conferring some movement advantage to infantry units (in the same way Air Bases or Naval Bases grant bonuses to units of those types.) The rail base was discussed as a possible concept here, though I had in mind something more abstract.

    The more I was thinking about this idea, the more it seemed a bit too overpowered to allow infantry a movement bonus when moving “out of” a base territory, the way ships/air get one when moving out of a base. On the other hand the idea of a movement bonus “going to” the base somehow, instead of going out of it might be workable. It’s been described before like this…

    Infantry units are spawned at factories (just just like every other combat unit), but once built could, in the following round, move directly from the Industrial Complex to any army base territory under the nation’s control, some set number of infantry units. Maybe 3? Air Bases can scramble 3 fighters, so perhaps 3 infantry units would seem reasonable. So in this sense the base is not spawning units per se, but allowing existing armies to move into position in a way that confers a movement bonus. The movement bonus for any individual infantry unit is basically only conferred in a one-way direction, from IC to Base. You can imagine it like the initial deployment, a sort of one time movement bonus for the units at the Industrial Complex. The army units get out of basic training, and received their deployment orders to base “such and such.” Only a limited number per base.

    That was an idea I’ve heard proposed, strictly for infantry, but it would still be pretty useful. In fact it might be so useful, that it’d make sense only to allow a very limited number of infantry unit per base to move this way. Perhaps 3 inf is too many. Or perhaps cap the total number of infantry that can be moved from an IC in this way per turn (in the case of multiple base units across the whole map) to the value of the Industrial Complex territory?

    I’m not sure how the introduction of such a unit would play out with Japan.  Amusingly the word Tycoon, indelibly associated with railroads to western ears, is actually a Japanese word haha. But again my idea of the base was more generic than a rail hub. If an army base or two was already in place in Japanese occupied coastal China, perhaps it would mean fewer minor factory builds? Hard to say

    Perhaps it’s just easier to keep the OOB roster, not worry right now about the land base concept and just focus on the units that already exist. Given that Japan spams minor factories all along the coast, I think the Allied starting unit balance needs to account for the mass mech build/air blitz strategy that Japan tends to adopt out of them.

    For the Russians, if the smallest surface fleet that we can represent with a unit is the destroyer, then perhaps a destroyer in sz 127 and sz 5 would be nice? A starting battleship in sz 115 or sz 100 seems like it could probably be worked out.

    Also great feedback on the major deep war campaigns of the mid war. Those are the campaigns I think we need to design the mechanics and gameplay incentives to emulate. If it was attached to the ultimate victory conditions, or at least the ultimate economic balance, I think that would be very helpful.

    Of the campaigns mentioned I think the ones that could use the most help are probably, the Atlantic and North Sea, The Med, The Central Pacific, and the Southern and Western pacific. Somehow more incentives need to go into those areas (whether they are purely cash incentives, or bases, or if those campaigns are somehow involved in some broader ‘victory achievements’ scheme.)

    Eastern Europe and Burma/Inda and China already have some strong incentives in play. The could be better I think, with some unit balance tweaking, but those areas are pretty much guaranteed to see action.

    Central Europe bombing campaigns by the Anglo-Americans would depend I think on how advantageous our SBR mechanic is. Right now its rather difficult to wage a very effective bombing campaign against Germany, but perhaps if it involved some further bonuses. Like +X ipcs, if a Germany factory is max damaged, or something along those lines.

    I’m pretty convinced that any victory scheme, whether it be based on Cities, or achievements, probably needs to have some kind of cash incentive/gameplay-driver in order to compete with the “Victory by Capital Capture” structure that most A&A games have adopted in the past. I know YG has experimented with a system that uses tokens for Victory in G40. In AA50 I used to play with rules that granted a cash bonus to capturing a VC.

    Perhaps you could create some sort of hybrid system? I think as long as the Victory condition is something that was actually achievable by either side, this would help. The OOB conditions are not like that, it’s an Axis game to loose, and the Allied victory conditions are basically impossible within the timeframe of most games, or the patience of most players.

    TripleA uses the 14 VCs threshold by default, but I think there most players still approach the game as if it were being played to concession (eg. focus on capitals first, and total VCs only after your capital goals are secured, or definitively thwarted haha)



  • Have recently been play-testing some modified G40 rules/National Objectives with players on TripleA. Mostly, the changes have been an attempt to correct the pro-Axis slant of the game, while also adding some historical interest.

    By far the best change has been increasing fighter attack/defense in air-raids to 2.

    Here are new national objectives.

    1. Western Europe Beach Head: Allied control of at least two of the following gives USA +5 PUs if at war: Normandy, Holland, Western Germany, Denmark.

    2. Control of Mediterranean Shipping Lanes: Allied control of Sicily, Malta, Cyprus, and Crete gives UK +5 PUs.

    3. Vital Forward Bases: Allied control of all of the following gives USA +5 PUs if at war: Wake Island, Midway, Caroline Islands, Marianas, Marshall Islands.

    4. No Enemy-Subs in Atlantic: No enemy subs in the Atlantic (excluding szs 112 and 125-127) gives UK +5 PUs.

    5. Revised Russian National Objectives

    a. Spread of Communism: Bonus for Russian control of originally Axis/Pro-Axis territories is confined to mainland Europe (excluding Africa, Iraq, mid-east Islands, etc.).

    b. Lend Lease: Russia receives +5 PUs, when at war with Germany/Italy, if at least one of three historical Lend-Lease lanes is “open” (i.e., the lane territory is friendly-controlled and there are no enemy warships in the corresponding sz). The Lend-Lease lanes are as follows:

    i. Archangel, sz 125
    ii. Persia, sz 80
    iii. Siberia, sz 5

    As in the original version of the NO, the presence of non-Russian allied units in originally Russian territory cancels out the objective.

    All of these NOs (along with the revised air-raid values for fighters) have been programmed into a playable TripleA saved game. If any y’all would be interested in play testing, shoot me a message.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    My only comments so far relate to adding, subtracting or moving units on the board at the start of the game.

    Just keep in mind, and I am sure it is pretty obvious, that each unit on the board represents more than just a single or a few units on a real-life scale. The Soviet cruiser and sub in SZ 115 represent, as of 1940/41, (2) modern cruisers, (2) older battleships, many destroyers and well over two dozen submarines.

    Adding an extra fighter in China may not swing the balance of the game, but it may be a case of over-representation. The 1st AVG only had about 60 operational fighters at any one time. Supposedly that one fighter on the G40 board is equivalent to all 60 of those aircraft. While the Eastern US begins with only one fighter to represent even more than that.

    So throwing another infantry in Canada for the Yellowknife Native Rifles or a battleship in Hawaii for “battleship row” may not be the best idea.

    I am all for seeing more units on the board too; heck that is why I want a the largest practical board possible (whatever that may be…). But you really have to be careful and look at balanced increases around the map so as not to tip the scales. Best way IMO to increase the number of units is to give everyone more IPCs to spend. Well, not give, but increase territory values.


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

    @Black_Elk:

    I’m pretty convinced that any victory scheme, whether it be based on Cities, or achievements, probably needs to have some kind of cash incentive/gameplay-driver in order to compete with the “Victory by Capital Capture” structure that most A&A games have adopted in the past. I know YG has experimented with a system that uses tokens for Victory in G40. In AA50 I used to play with rules that granted a cash bonus to capturing a VC.
    Perhaps you could create some sort of hybrid system? I think as long as the Victory condition is something that was actually achievable by either side, this would help. The OOB conditions are not like that, it’s an Axis game to loose, and the Allied victory conditions are basically impossible within the timeframe of most games, or the patience of most players.

    I’m still only thinking at a very broad conceptual level, but here’s a slightly more developed version of the idea I floated yesterday about an alternate victory condition system.

    • The system would revolve around the eight theatre/campaign pairings I described yesterday, or around some variation of it (for instance if it’s considered impractical to model the Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign within the A&A game system).  For purposes of convenience I’ll assume in this post that the eight-pairing concept is being used, but the ideas outlined below don’t depend on those particular pairings being used.

    • Each theatre/campaign pairing would have its own specific set of victory conditions.  These conditions could vary in nature from one theatre/campaign pairing to the next.  In one theatre, for example, the victory conditions might involve the capture of cities, while in another they might involve the kind of cash incentive that Black Elk mentioned, while in another they might involve economic factors (such as ship tonnage sunk or percentages of bombers shot down or percentages of factories destroyed).  In a given theatre, the winning conditions might be identical for the Axis and the Allies (example: the need for either side to control x number of cities), or they might be reciprocal (the Allies trying to get as many cargo ships across the Atlantic safely as possible, and the Axis trying to sink as many of them as possible), or they might even be completely different in nature (provided that they’re fairly balanced).

    • The victory conditions would have to be easily quantifiable, regardless of their nature.  All the players should be able to tell easily how close each side is to achieving its victory conditions in any given theatre.  The concept of “how close” does not mean that players would be required to achieve total victory in any particular theatre; rather, what players would be required to achieve is a position of clear dominance in a particular theatre, based on criteria which are appropriate to the particular type of campaign being fought in that theatre.  To put it in very abstract terms (for purposes of convenience), achieving a “position of clear dominance” (or PCD) in a particular theatre could be defined as “achieving 70% or more of the player’s objectives in that theatre.”  For example, this could equate to controlling at least two-thirds of the islands in the Central Pacific, or controlling at least two out of three victory cities in a theatre, or depriving the opponent of at least two-thirds of his IPC income, or whatever.  (I’m using 70% just as an example, but the figure could be different and it might even vary from theatre to theatre instead of being uniform.)

    • The system of individual theatre-based winning conditions would be attached to a system of game-winning conditions.  This could potentially be something very simple such as (to pick some figures out of the air purely as examples): The Axis wins the game if it can achieve and maintain a position of clear dominance (PCD) in at least six of the game’s eight theatres for two back-to-back game rounds.  The Allies win the game if they can [either do the same or fulfill a different set of game-winning conditions, depending on whether we want the two sides to have identical or different criteria for victory].  Different numbers could be used, depending on whether PCD scale is considered more important that PCD duration: let’s say, sustaining a PCD in seven theatres for one round, or in five theatres for three rounds, rather than in six theatres for two rounds.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    I’m a big fan of regularkid’s national objectives; they sound promising. I also like the idea of a rail base or army base, although I think the rail base idea needs a little more work. It might make sense to have the rail base give infantry and artillery a movement bonus on non-combat – e.g., up to 3 ground units that start in the territory with the rail base can move up to 3 territories (instead of 1 territory) during non-combat, if and only if the rail base is operational. I don’t like the idea of having army bases cause infantry to be instantly transported, overseas, from factories to the front lines – it’s hard enough to get an effective naval blockade going in A&A without opponents having the option to build bases that magically ignore your submarines.

    I agree with BlackElk that a major objective for the redesign has to be improving the ‘fun factor’ of France, China, and ANZAC while making the blitz-to-Moscow-with-mechanized infantry-and-planes less of a dominant/mandatory strategy for Japan. I’d also suggest that Italy’s experience needs to be made less variable – it’s not that Italy is overpowered or underpowered, but some games it sits around doing very little, and other games it takes over the bloody Southern Hemisphere. Often this has little to do with the Italian player’s choices; it’s just a matter of whether Germany wants to attack London and whether the USA wants to reinforce Africa.

    So – how to do that? How can France, China, and ANZAC all be given extra strength while nerfing one of Japan’s best strategies and getting Italy to be more ‘average’, without turning the redesign into a hopelessly Allied-friendly map?

    For starters, it’s not going to make sense to keep Japan away from Moscow by nerfing Japan – you can’t nerf Japan and buff three of the Allies and still have a balanced game. Instead, I suggest my trusty stand-by of making capitals less tasty: instead of wrecking your whole economy forever, losing a capital should be a noticeable but recoverable defeat. This might mean losing one turn of production, it might mean shifting to a backup capital, it might mean losing half your treasury – but it cannot and should not mean a total loss of your ability to deploy new units. This should free Japan to expand in a variety of directions as called for by the individual game situation, instead of always being drawn to Moscow like some kind of experimental supermagnet.

    As far as regulating Italy, I suggest two plans: first, separate the Italian fleet from the British fleet a little bit, so that Britain can’t unilaterally decide that the fleets should wipe each other out on turn 1. Maybe put a blocking Italian destroyer in the way, or even give Italy a spot in the turn order before Britain and give Britain a blocking destroyer. A bit of naval brinksmanship is one thing, but considering how long the British and Italian fleets spent avoiding a direct engagement in the actual war (years), it’s both unfun and ahistorical to have a starting setup that strongly encourages sinking every dang boat in the Mediterranean on turn 1. Second, beef up South Africa – give it both a starting minor industrial complex and a starting garrison of 4-5 units. It’s one thing for Italy to build up some momentum and become a major player in and around the Mediterranean and Red Seas – that was its goal, and if all went well, it could have happened. It’s another thing to have Italy parading around Antarctica like some kind of global superpower. They didn’t have the population, the supply chain, or the ideology to make anything like that happen, and having a strong British base in South Africa should help flatten out the upper end of Italy’s curve without immediately stopping Italy from making early gains in North Africa.

    As far as France, China, and ANZAC, I think most of the boost they need is just a chance to go before their respective Axis opponents. France should go before Germany, and China and ANZAC should go before Japan. I’d also support giving China a second fighter. It’s ahistorical, but it’s boring for China to be essentially limited to one weak attack per turn just because they only had 60 operational fighters, or whatever. It’s much more interesting for China to get two fighters and to have to choose between one strong attack or two weaker attacks per turn. That should get us 90% of the way there – we can tweak the national objectives. Finally, as I’ve written on other posts, France really needs a territory that it can use as a backup capital / factory site after Paris falls. It’s ridiculous to model France as an independent player and then lock France out of participating meaningfully in 90% of games after turn 1 or 2. The Free French are a fun, exciting, historical part of World War II, and we’ve gotta make some room for them. If we don’t put the French backup capital in Quebec because of concerns about historical accuracy, then it should go in the West Indies, French West Africa, or French Equatorial Africa. I don’t like the idea of the French backup capital being in London, because it undercuts the idea of the Free French as an independent player. As a disclaimer, neither me nor any of my close friends or family have any French ancestry – I could give two hoots about the French on a personal level, I just think that as a matter of good game design, having an independent French player demands having an independent French backup capital.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @Argothair:

    For starters, it’s not going to make sense to keep Japan away from Moscow by nerfing Japan – you can’t nerf Japan and buff three of the Allies and still have a balanced game. Instead, I suggest my trusty stand-by of making capitals less tasty: instead of wrecking your whole economy forever, losing a capital should be a noticeable but recoverable defeat. This might mean losing one turn of production, it might mean shifting to a backup capital, it might mean losing half your treasury – but it cannot and should not mean a total loss of your ability to deploy new units. This should free Japan to expand in a variety of directions as called for by the individual game situation, instead of always being drawn to Moscow like some kind of experimental supermagnet.

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but my motivation in attacking Russia with Japan is not to get money from Moscow; it is to win the game. The easiest and most reliable way for the Axis to win the game is for Germany and Japan to jointly pressure the USSR and head for Moscow. If the Axis can eliminate the most reachable major Ally, and the only one on the Euro-Asian land mass, they become very, very difficult, if not impossible for the Allies to beat.

    The money from taking Moscow is a secondary consideration; if you have made it that far, odds are good you are sucking up most of their income via their territories anyway. And if Moscow is taken, even if they have half their income left (which at that point would be maybe… 10 IPCs?), the odds that they still have a workable factory in Stalingrad or Leningrad is unlikely. And as for a movable capital (which is more historically relevant to the USSR than anyone else), where would they move their capital to? If basically surrounded by Germany and Japan, they would have few, if any territories left.

    @Argothair:

    As far as France, China, and ANZAC, I think most of the boost they need is just a chance to go before their respective Axis opponents. France should go before Germany, and China and ANZAC should go before Japan.

    How is this a good idea? Or historically accurate?

    This is my extrapolation of a France goes first scenario: First they buy 17 IPCs worth of extra units with which to put Germany through a meat-grinder and kill their momentum in the game. Secondly, maybe they walk in and take Northern Italy, which they would be perfectly capable of doing. Third, they could also wreak havoc with the Italian navy. This would completely circumvent your idea of putting blocking destroyers in place to prevent a ‘first turn mutual annihilation’. France would pave the way for Britain to come in a clean up the Med.

    Even if France takes N. Italy and spreads itself out a bit, it will be difficult for Germany to take Paris and Normandy (and perhaps N. Italy too). Not to mention that France will certainly still have Southern France in Turn 2, with an Industrial Complex and 10 or 11 IPCs (if we go with the losing half the treasury rule). All in all, this means Germany and Italy are both drastically slowed, if not crippled to start the game and it takes them at least one more Turn to completely conquer Europe and pivot to the East/Africa. This takes a Sealion attack completely off the table as well; Germany cannot afford to have an Allied strongpoint so close, so early in the game. Ignoring France and focusing on the UK would not be workable.

    @Argothair:

    I’d also support giving China a second fighter. It’s ahistorical, but it’s boring for China to be essentially limited to one weak attack per turn just because they only had 60 operational fighters, or whatever. It’s much more interesting for China to get two fighters and to have to choose between one strong attack or two weaker attacks per turn. That should get us 90% of the way there – we can tweak the national objectives.

    I disagree with this. You argue against ahistorical happenings with Italy, but support it in this instance. I understand that sometimes the historical aspect must be slightly compromised for balanced gameplay, but your reasoning is purely emotional. I would propose the ability for China to somehow obtain a second fighter if the first is destroyed. For instance, the USA or Britain flying one of theirs to China and having it then belong to China. This isn’t the same as your fun idea, but it gives China a second chance at more diverse firepower.

    @Argothair:

    Finally, as I’ve written on other posts, France really needs a territory that it can use as a backup capital / factory site after Paris falls. It’s ridiculous to model France as an independent player and then lock France out of participating meaningfully in 90% of games after turn 1 or 2. The Free French are a fun, exciting, historical part of World War II, and we’ve gotta make some room for them. If we don’t put the French backup capital in Quebec because of concerns about historical accuracy, then it should go in the West Indies, French West Africa, or French Equatorial Africa. I don’t like the idea of the French backup capital being in London, because it undercuts the idea of the Free French as an independent player. As a disclaimer, neither me nor any of my close friends or family have any French ancestry – I could give two hoots about the French on a personal level, I just think that as a matter of good game design, having an independent French player demands having an independent French backup capital.

    That is why France was not included in previous versions of Axis and Allies: their historical role was about 10% of what the Allies accomplished. Probably less than that. Not that they did nothing or that their contributions were un-noteworthy or unimportant… not at all. They just did not engage in the war nearly to the scale that the other Allies did. It just is what it is, you can’t really change it. I would go so far as to say it is wrong to do so even in this board game.

    Backup capitals aside, the Free French can easily be modeled in this game without a capital or an economy. All you have to do is implement a schedule of placing French units (predominantly infantry) into the game as it proceeds. This could be based on objectives as they are achieved by the Allies or the Axis or simply on a Turn based rotation. Now that, I think, could be fun, interesting and historically accurate. No, France still wouldn’t be a fully playable major or minor power, but IMO it should never be that. Even if essentially downgraded to a minor power, Free France would be less interesting to play with than ANZAC or India.

    Even though Axis and Allies G40 technically has 9 or 10 independently playable powers does not mean that they all should be played independently or that they should be played with the expectation of having similar amounts of action or import to gameplay. Some, like France, are designed for the historical purpose they served (to look good, be run over by Germany and then be a minor annoyance to the Axis for the remainder of the game) and not to have a continuously playable presence. I am perfectly fine playing G40 with 5, maybe 6, people. I can’t even find more players than that and even if I did, the minor powers would just be bored. And rightfully so.


  • '14

    Great feedback and lively debate! I’m on my way to work so can’t respond to everything, but I just wanted to make one quick point as it relates to the starting unit distribution. The A&A units don’t really represent the same ratios of sculpts to historical forces equally everywhere on the gameboard. A single unit in one area might represent X, while the same single unit in another area might represent Y. Often the unit numbers are changed, as a gameplay expedient, even from one edition of the same game to another, with little regard paid to the historical numbers. Usually the smaller player nations in A&A, have more sculpts than would make sense if the ratio of sculpts to historical forces was constistent at all times.

    Keeping this in mind, I would just point out with regard to China, that in Classic China was only 2 spaces. Having a single Tiger was plenty. In G40 this has blown out to 12 territories, and China is an independent player nation, but still only a single fighter unit.

    Just think of all the Japanese aircraft that were removed going from first to second edition for gameplay purposes. I see the situation as similar here, with some definite flexibility for gameplay. The Chinese fighter unlike every other fighter in the game has its movement restricted. Perhaps it equals 60 actual historical aircraft, or perhaps it equals 30. Some other fighter somewhere else on the map might represent 200 or 500 or 1000.

    Ps. Just got to work early, wanted to type a few more thoughts.

    About Capitals or back-up Capitals. I think it would preferable to have all player nations work the same way, but this is difficult because for one thing there is no other VC territory for some nations, like France.

    Here is an idea I once proposed for China. You could say that the Shanghai VC is their capital, since it encompasses Nanking (though it begins play with its Capital occupied by Japan). My thought here is that you could approach France in a similar way after Paris falls, or any Nation really.

    In other words, instead of having “China rules” that are weirdly specific just to China, you could use the OOB China rules as the model for all that Nations when their capital is captured. They are allowed to collect ipcs and spawn infantry only. Perhaps their movement is restricted. The OOB rules make an exception for Chinese movement that includes Burma. Perhaps England could be treated in a similar way, where French units are allowed there, but not elsewhere. So you don’t have the French fighter dancing around the Globe to Moscow or wherever.

    Backup capitals seem like they might be a little problematic, can the treasury be looted a second time? Is it always a VC territory, and what do you do if there is no secondary VC (Anzac, China, Italy all only have 1 VC)? Questions like that would need to be resolved if you go with the Secondary capital model, but they could be sidestepped, if you just use the same China-like system for everyone.

    It’s not perfect, but at least it gives you a consistent set of rules for all player nations.

    I tend to agree with LHoffman, that the boon for taking Moscow has more to do with the strategic advantages of Axis convergence at the center and eliminating Soviet production, than it does with looting the Russian purse. That said, if the Russians could still mobilize units or collect income (on the China model) this might mitigate somewhat the influence of the Moscow magnet. Just something to consider.

    Again, excellent ideas everyone. Keep em coming!


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @Black_Elk:

    Great feedback and lively debate! I’m on my way to work so can’t respond to everything, but I just wanted to make one quick point as it relates to the starting unit distribution. The A&A units don’t really represent the same ratios of sculpts to historical forces equally everywhere on the gameboard. A single unit in one area might represent X, while the same single unit in another area might represent Y. Often the unit numbers are changed, as a gameplay expedient, even from one edition of the same game to another, with little regard paid to the historical numbers. Usually the smaller player nations in A&A, have more sculpts than would make sense if the ratio of sculpts to historical forces was constistent at all times.

    Keeping this in mind, I would just point out with regard to China, that in Classic China was only 2 spaces. Having a single Tiger was plenty. In G40 this has blown out to 12 territories, and China is an independent player nation, but still only a single fighter unit.

    Just think of all the Japanese aircraft that were removed going from first to second edition for gameplay purposes. I see the situation as similar here, with some definite flexibility for gameplay. The Chinese fighter unlike every other fighter in the game has its movement restricted. Perhaps it equals 60 actual historical aircraft, or perhaps it equals 30. Some other fighter somewhere else on the map might represent 200 or 500 or 1000.

    I too appreciate this discussion. It’s fun. There is a lot of dead time on the boards, so it is nice when something engaging comes up.

    That is a reasonable assessment. And I do agree that there is no set ratio of what a given unit represents; it is (and probably should be) variable. There are more than just the number or divisions and squadrons to take into account, but also their relative training, perceived quality, technological superiority/inferiority and vintage of weapons. A division of Wermacht infantry is not equal to a division of Romanian or Hungarian infantry. A group of WWI vintage Soviet battleships should not be represented on the map with the strength of a battleship sculpt. There are some nuanced capability related factors that need to be considered and I don’t know that there can be an exact science about it.

    With regards to the single Flying Tiger fighter in the smaller versions of A&A… it too was probably a case of over-representation, but was included more for the playability aspect. Adding and subtracting units for ease of play and balance is okay so long as we recognize why we are adding/subtracting and so that it doesn’t get carried away. That is my take anyway.

    @Black_Elk:

    In other words, instead of having “China rules” that are weirdly specific just to China, you could use the OOB China rules as the model for all that Nations when their capital is captured. They are allowed to collect ipcs and spawn infantry only. Perhaps their movement is restricted. The OOB rules make an exception for Chinese movement that includes Burma. Perhaps England could be treated in a similar way, where French units are allowed there, but not elsewhere. So you don’t have the French fighter dancing around the Globe to Moscow or wherever.

    Backup capitals seem like they might be a little problematic, can the treasury be looted a second time? Is it always a VC territory, and what do you do if there is no secondary VC (Anzac, China, Italy all only have 1 VC)? Questions like that would need to be resolved if you go with the Secondary capital model, but they could be sidestepped, if you just use the same China-like system for everyone.

    It’s not perfect, but at least it gives you a consistent set of rules for all player nations.

    China is the aberration as a playable Power though. They were still in the midst of a civil war when WWII broke out in 1936 or 1937, so there was no single government and no capital. The communists and nationalist came together to fight Japan, but there still wasn’t really a government to speak of. China has its own rules for that reason and it makes sense, to me, the way it is.

    I am just against a secondary capital rule as a general practice. To me, it would make the game a little more convoluted and, ultimately, I don’t think it would mean very much. Once you go to a secondary capital your whole objective will still be to re-take your original capital. Being able to collect your remaining income and spend it (if able) will likely just delay the inevitable (defeat) in many cases. Britain may be able to retake London, but only if the US is prepped and ready to help. The USSR can re-take Moscow if the circumstances are right(if they bleed and exhaust the Germans and have some reserve units left). France will never re-take Paris on their own. Japan will never re-take their island if the US takes it. Germany is already terminal if the Allies have taken Berlin, give it a turn or two. If the Axis take the Eastern US… well, why are you still playing at that point?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    LHoffman, thanks for engaging with my ideas in so much detail. It’s good to get this stuff out in the open.

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but my motivation in attacking Russia with Japan is not to get money from Moscow; it is to win the game. The easiest and most reliable way for the Axis to win the game is for Germany and Japan to jointly pressure the USSR and head for Moscow. If the Axis can eliminate the most reachable major Ally, and the only one on the Euro-Asian land mass, they become very, very difficult, if not impossible for the Allies to beat.

    I have two questions here: (1) do we want the Axis to become virtually impossible to beat after they capture Moscow? (2) do we want there to be other ways for the Axis to become virtually impossible to beat, e.g., capturing London, or capturing India, or capturing Hawaii, or capturing Brazil?

    If your answers are yes to (1) and no to (2), then the race to Moscow really is inevitable, and there’s just nothing we can do about that – if you give a player one goal that’s obviously more useful than the other goals, then of course that’s what they’ll try to do. Personally, I find having only a single major goal boring, and not worth the 10+ hour investment required to play a game like G40, but if you enjoy it, that’s fine.

    If your answer is no to (1), then we need to work on giving the Allies at least one plausible base from which to fight for Eurasia that works even if Moscow falls. That could be a Russian base, like a factory and secondary capital in the Urals or Kazakhstan or Amur, or it could be a non-Russian base, like India, Persia, Egypt, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, or Norway.

    If your answer is yes to (2), then we need to work on giving the Axis exciting goals that can lock down the game for them other than conquering Moscow. The most obvious option is probably changing the starting units so that Germany has a chance to take and hold London if it makes that its top priority. Another option is to bring more of South America into play and providing starting naval bases in, e.g., Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, and Morocco, that shorten the width of the south Pacific (so that moving southwest into Africa / South America / ANZAC becomes a more realistic strategy for economic victory). A third option is to loosen the restrictions on building on island territories, so that if Japan takes Hawaii it has a chance to continue on to Alaska, Mexico, and Panama without losing too much momentum.

    As far as France, China, and ANZAC, I think most of the boost they need is just a chance to go before their respective Axis opponents. France should go before Germany, and China and ANZAC should go before Japan.

    How is this a good idea? Or historically accurate?

    It’s a good idea because there’s no point in setting up the blue pieces only to mechanically wipe them off the board on turn 1 before anyone gets to move them or choose how they’re arranged. You may as well use neutral white pieces if France literally never gets to issue orders to the troops in metropolitan France. Having one turn to set up a French defense after your own stylistic preferences, even if the defense is ultimately doomed, is way more fun than having zero turns to set up the defense and watching the French pieces get picked off in exactly the same way game after game.

    In terms of game balance, as we’ve discussed on other threads in House Rules recently, there’s no need to give France all of the same starting units – if you want to nerf France a bit to make up for its turn order advantage, you can. Another option is to give France only a noncombat move on its first turn, so that it can’t attack Italy. Personally, I would prefer to have Italy be neutral (!) on turn 1 and not get activated until turn 2 unless Britain or France attack it. That way, France can attack Northern Italy if it wants, but it brings Italy into the war a turn earlier, so that’s a gambit at best for the Allies.

    In terms of history, check out the Saar Offensive on Wikipedia – it’s a little known fact that after Germany invaded Poland, France responded by invading Germany, without waiting for Germany or Italy to invade France. They didn’t get very far, but there’s no special reason why the French couldn’t have attacked harder or done better in their opening attack.

    I understand that sometimes the historical aspect must be slightly compromised for balanced gameplay, but your reasoning is purely emotional. I would propose the ability for China to somehow obtain a second fighter if the first is destroyed. For instance, the USA or Britain flying one of theirs to China and having it then belong to China. This isn’t the same as your fun idea, but it gives China a second chance at more diverse firepower.

    I’m not emotionally worked up about China having a second fighter; it’s not like I’m Chinese-American or something like that. I just think it makes for better gameplay, for the reasons Black Elk was pointing out: with 12 territories in play, it’s boring to have to pick only one of them in which to attack. I wouldn’t mind if the second Chinese fighter had to come from some kind of American lend-lease, e.g., you start with a fighter in the Philippines, and you can send it to China, where it becomes Chinese, or retreat it to Hawaii, where it remains American. However, I think restricting the gift of a second fighter to situations where the first fighter has already been killed is far too weak: the point isn’t to ensure that China keeps its fighter (generally not too hard, because the fighter can keep landing in safe territories and Japan doesn’t have many AA guns to work with in China), the point is to give China the interesting decision of whether to make one attack or two attacks per turn.

    Even though Axis and Allies G40 technically has 9 or 10 independently playable powers does not mean that they all should be played independently or that they should be played with the expectation of having similar amounts of action or import to gameplay.

    I strongly disagree. If you don’t want 9+ playable powers, don’t have them: nothing wrong with a game that has Germany, Italy, Japan, USSR, UK, USA, and a bunch of neutrals. If you treat the Australians and the Chinese as pro-Allied neutrals, the game can work just fine. On the other hand, if you have 9+ playable powers, you have to make them freaking playable! Adding extra player powers that don’t actually get to play is a waste of expensive chrome, a waste of setup time, a waste of brainpower spent thinking about a more complicated turn order, and a trap for the unwary: even if you and your friends know that the minor powers aren’t supposed to be interesting, there will always be newbies who reasonably assume that the designers wouldn’t have put a country like France in the box and the rules unless France was meant to be playable, and those newbies are going to be bored stiff. As G40 stands, you could give France, China, UK Pacific, and ANZAC all to the same player, and he’d still have way less fun than the guy playing even a medium-sized power like UK Europe. That’s crazy.

    I am just against a secondary capital rule as a general practice. To me, it would make the game a little more convoluted and, ultimately, I don’t think it would mean very much. Once you go to a secondary capital your whole objective will still be to re-take your original capital. Being able to collect your remaining income and spend it (if able) will likely just delay the inevitable (defeat) in many cases.

    I don’t see why everyone working out of a secondary capital will be obsessed with recapturing their original capital. As, e.g., the Free French, I might be perfectly willing to work on retaking French North Africa, or Trans-Jordan, or just on supporting an attack on Italy. As a British player operating out of Ottawa or Calcutta, I might be perfectly willing to let the Germans hang on to London for a few turns in favor of a strategic bombing campaign that helps the Russians take Berlin.

    Also, I think having a meaningful ability to build units after the fall of your capital will change the point at which players abandon their capitals. Right now, players hold on to their capitals until it becomes abundantly clear that their entire army will be handily wiped out if they try to hold it. By the time Germany has 60+ troops adjacent to Moscow, the Russians barely have any territories left besides Moscow, so the best the Russians can hope for is a wandering nomadic horde that holds one territory at a time. On the other hand, if Russia had the option to fall back to a more defensible position, maybe they would take advantage of that opportunity and therefore be able to trade/hold more territory. A Russian stack holding at Omsk could reunite the Siberian and European armies faster and would be stronger relative to the invading German and Japanese forces. A Russian capital at Omsk wouldn’t have a huge income, but it could reasonably trade and deadzone for 15+ IPCs for a few turns, which could be interesting. I don’t see that as “delaying the inevitable defeat,” because if the Germans or the Japanese have to pull their stack back to defend their own capital, then the Russians could increase their income and sustain themselves indefinitely, whether or not they recapture Moscow.

    That said, I’m not wedded to the idea of secondary capitals per se – what’s important to me is that powers have a way to place units after their original capital is lost. I could live with the infantry-spawn idea.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    Ha-HA! Good points and very well written… thank you for not taking me too seriously…  8-)

    @Argothair:

    I have two questions here: (1) do we want the Axis to become virtually impossible to beat after they capture Moscow? (2) do we want there to be other ways for the Axis to become virtually impossible to beat, e.g., capturing London, or capturing India, or capturing Hawaii, or capturing Brazil?

    (1) Yes, in the game as it stands, the Axis should be virtually impossible to beat after taking Moscow. Taking Moscow eliminates the most problematic Ally for Axis victory and enhances Germany and Japan’s strategic, monetary and geographic flexibility immensely.

    Now, if you are talking about altering the rules such that Moscow essentially no longer has the significance that it currently does… well that is another story. The whole point of doing so is to make (1) not true.

    (2) Maybe, within reason. Would the Axis have become unstoppable if they took India? Hawaii? Brazil??? Obviously as the game (and history) stands, this is an emphatic no. But if you alter the rules to allow players to manipulate politics and geography and logistics, then I suppose it could.

    This is where we are deviating more artificially than I like. To manipulate Axis or Ally motivations in a decidedly ahistorical fashion begins to stretch the game away from its purpose as a historical game. As I have said before, playing this very game is an exercise in alternate history, but it is done within the framework of historical and geographical reality. What I mean is that, it is easy to just say “let’s make capitals mobile or movable”, and on a purely political level this is not really difficult. You just move your leaders and their advisers to another location. Works great in a boardgame. However, in reality can you really move the population, the infrastructure and the cultural significance of a capital on a whim? Certainly not and even in a boardgame this lack of reality is felt. It could easily create results unachievable in the real-world. Maybe this doesn’t matter to some people. Maybe it should not matter to me (since this is after all a boardgame). But my point is simply that the more flexibility players are given (especially on a political level) the less and less this game will resemble plausible alternate history.

    @Argothair:

    If your answers are yes to (1) and no to (2), then the race to Moscow really is inevitable, and there’s just nothing we can do about that – if you give a player one goal that’s obviously more useful than the other goals, then of course that’s what they’ll try to do. Personally, I find having only a single major goal boring, and not worth the 10+ hour investment required to play a game like G40, but if you enjoy it, that’s fine.

    Within the rather limited realm of historical probability/possibility, this is the case. From my standpoint at least. Not sure what to say. This isn’t Roller Coaster Tycoon where you can build, tear down and move your empire as it pleases you. In altering capital cities you also alter the map and have to change the victory conditions which in turn changes the entire scope and objective(s) of the game. At this point you are using the unit types and combat framework of the game, but not much else. It starts as A&A WWII and morphs into “A&A: Bat$hit Apocalypse 1948 in the Chilean Andes”!

    That is slight hyperbole, but my point is expressed.

    @Argothair:

    If your answer is no to (1), then we need to work on giving the Allies at least one plausible base from which to fight for Eurasia that works even if Moscow falls. That could be a Russian base, like a factory and secondary capital in the Urals or Kazakhstan or Amur, or it could be a non-Russian base, like India, Persia, Egypt, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, or Norway.

    This premise is interesting, because it makes us consider what the Allies would have done if they were clearly losing or one of their main capitals had fallen. Would they continue to fight and move their HQ until there was no one left or would they have sued for peace even before that point when it became just too bleak? We will never know, but in changing capitals/victory cities and what they inherently mean geographically and politically, the implication here is that the war can be continued indefinitely. My question at that point is why you would want to, at least in a boardgame. Nothing more boring than seeing the writing on the wall and knowing nothing you do from here on out can change it.

    @Argothair:

    If your answer is yes to (2), then we need to work on giving the Axis exciting goals that can lock down the game for them other than conquering Moscow. The most obvious option is probably changing the starting units so that Germany has a chance to take and hold London if it makes that its top priority. Another option is to bring more of South America into play and providing starting naval bases in, e.g., Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, and Morocco, that shorten the width of the south Pacific (so that moving southwest into Africa / South America / ANZAC becomes a more realistic strategy for economic victory).

    Again, this is, to some degree, artificial manipulation of reality: sizes and composition of German and British forces, political alterations to South America and changing the size of the planet so it becomes more convenient to traverse two Oceans. That is less of an exaggeration and more of a literal rephrasing of your above statement.

    @Argothair:

    A third option is to loosen the restrictions on building on island territories, so that if Japan takes Hawaii it has a chance to continue on to Alaska, Mexico, and Panama without losing too much momentum.

    This I do not mind. Someone suggested it earlier with a certain qualifier for what can be built, if I remember correctly.

    @Argothair:

    As far as France, China, and ANZAC, I think most of the boost they need is just a chance to go before their respective Axis opponents. France should go before Germany, and China and ANZAC should go before Japan.

    How is this a good idea? Or historically accurate?

    It’s a good idea because there’s no point in setting up the blue pieces only to mechanically wipe them off the board on turn 1 before anyone gets to move them or choose how they’re arranged. You may as well use neutral white pieces if France literally never gets to issue orders to the troops in metropolitan France. Having one turn to set up a French defense after your own stylistic preferences, even if the defense is ultimately doomed, is way more fun than having zero turns to set up the defense and watching the French pieces get picked off in exactly the same way game after game.

    I have never played it, but it seems like you would enjoy HBG’s Global War 1939. It is essentially A&A G40, but a little earlier and with many more options including more playable neutrals and (I assume) a France that you can actually do something with… before they get obliterated.

    @Argothair:

    In terms of game balance, as we’ve discussed on other threads in House Rules recently, there’s no need to give France all of the same starting units – if you want to nerf France a bit to make up for its turn order advantage, you can. Another option is to give France only a noncombat move on its first turn, so that it can’t attack Italy. Personally, I would prefer to have Italy be neutral (!) on turn 1 and not get activated until turn 2 unless Britain or France attack it. That way, France can attack Northern Italy if it wants, but it brings Italy into the war a turn earlier, so that’s a gambit at best for the Allies.

    The bold statement is a possibility, as is Italy being neutral. Those are not major changes to the fabric of gameplay and could be worked to achieve some of the goals you have.

    @Argothair:

    In terms of history, check out the Saar Offensive on Wikipedia – it’s a little known fact that after Germany invaded Poland, France responded by invading Germany, without waiting for Germany or Italy to invade France. They didn’t get very far, but there’s no special reason why the French couldn’t have attacked harder or done better in their opening attack.

    True, but they simply didn’t do it. The premise for Global 40 is that it begins in May? of 1940, just before the invasion of France and prior to the Battle of Britain… as I am sure you already know. By this time the Saar offensive had long passed (Sept. 1939) and France was geared up for the Phony War. Clearly their balk in the Saar showed both a lack of true initiative and their relative inability to conduct a mobile war. Per the Wikipedia article, and supportive of much else I have read, though France had a large military, they operated with outdated equipment and tactics. They were still in a WWI mindset and quickly found that they were physically and mentally unprepared for an offensive war. Axis and Allies models this situation pretty well in limiting the French player’s ability to do much of anything. The game also limits France’s forces such that even if they could do something, it would pale in comparison to what Germany can and did do.

    Giving the French player the option of attacking may not actually be a completely bad thing; mostly because I think that it would quickly be apparent that doing so would be a worse move than simply waiting for the Germans to com get you. Especially if Italy is made neutral for Turn 1 or if there is some other dis-incentive for France to attack Italy. Then France at least has the choice, even if they will never do it. I disagree wholeheartedly with France being able to buy before Germany can attack though.

    @Argothair:

    I’m not emotionally worked up about China having a second fighter; it’s not like I’m Chinese-American or something like that. I just think it makes for better gameplay, for the reasons Black Elk was pointing out: with 12 territories in play, it’s boring to have to pick only one of them in which to attack. I wouldn’t mind if the second Chinese fighter had to come from some kind of American lend-lease, e.g., you start with a fighter in the Philippines, and you can send it to China, where it becomes Chinese, or retreat it to Hawaii, where it remains American. However, I think restricting the gift of a second fighter to situations where the first fighter has already been killed is far too weak: the point isn’t to ensure that China keeps its fighter (generally not too hard, because the fighter can keep landing in safe territories and Japan doesn’t have many AA guns to work with in China), the point is to give China the interesting decision of whether to make one attack or two attacks per turn.

    I didn’t mean that you were worked up or that your feelings were invested in it. My point was that your opinion seemed based on novelty rather than any quantifiable reason why the Chinese should get two fighters.

    @Argothair:

    Even though Axis and Allies G40 technically has 9 or 10 independently playable powers does not mean that they all should be played independently or that they should be played with the expectation of having similar amounts of action or import to gameplay.

    I strongly disagree. If you don’t want 9+ playable powers, don’t have them: nothing wrong with a game that has Germany, Italy, Japan, USSR, UK, USA, and a bunch of neutrals. If you treat the Australians and the Chinese as pro-Allied neutrals, the game can work just fine. On the other hand, if you have 9+ playable powers, you have to make them freaking playable! Adding extra player powers that don’t actually get to play is a waste of expensive chrome, a waste of setup time, a waste of brainpower spent thinking about a more complicated turn order, and a trap for the unwary: even if you and your friends know that the minor powers aren’t supposed to be interesting, there will always be newbies who reasonably assume that the designers wouldn’t have put a country like France in the box and the rules unless France was meant to be playable, and those newbies are going to be bored stiff. As G40 stands, you could give France, China, UK Pacific, and ANZAC all to the same player, and he’d still have way less fun than the guy playing even a medium-sized power like UK Europe. That’s crazy.

    In an Axis and Allies game on the physical scale that G40 is, it would be difficult not to more accurately model places like China, India and ANZAC (and France) as their own, independent entities. They certainly cannot be neutrals since that would be completely wrong (not sure if that is what you were implying). And having them as respective parts of larger Powers (ex. Britain-India-Anzac and USA-China) could pose major problems. The USA could concievably “control” China, but can you imagine G40 China being played the same was as it was in A&A Revised or the smaller global versions??? The US could build freaking industrial complexes there and throw their money there!! (Obviously, I assume this would be slightly amended). But more to the point, Britain controlling India and Anzac under one turn and one pool of money could throw things way off the historical track. Can you imagine Britain dumping 40 IPCs into India? They could do it and just ferry loads of tanks up into the Soviet Union or China. The smaller Allied Powers really have to be separated from the Big Allies at this level of gameplay… even if it is painful or annoying to play with them alone. It is not a waste it is a balance necessity (perhaps barring further restrictions and rule revisions).

    I would not want to play G40 with a bunch of newbies… way too much going on for their small minds. They really need to be introduced to something less complicated first (like one of the smaller world games) and given time to properly develop. Even then, do you really let newbies play the game without any coaching or explanation at all? Do you let them make the mistake of buying battleships with Russia or do you explain how things work and give suggestions… if not outright control what they do to begin with? That is all rather rhetorical.

    @Argothair:

    I am just against a secondary capital rule as a general practice. To me, it would make the game a little more convoluted and, ultimately, I don’t think it would mean very much. Once you go to a secondary capital your whole objective will still be to re-take your original capital. Being able to collect your remaining income and spend it (if able) will likely just delay the inevitable (defeat) in many cases.

    I don’t see why everyone working out of a secondary capital will be obsessed with recapturing their original capital. As, e.g., the Free French, I might be perfectly willing to work on retaking French North Africa, or Trans-Jordan, or just on supporting an attack on Italy. As a British player operating out of Ottawa or Calcutta, I might be perfectly willing to let the Germans hang on to London for a few turns in favor of a strategic bombing campaign that helps the Russians take Berlin.

    Unless you plan on re-writing territory IPC values, Capital cities as they are OOB will always be centers of attention and action. If Britain waits a few turns, they will probably never be able to dislodge Germany from their former home Isle.

    Having movable capitals just cheapens their very purpose. How often can you move them, what are the limits? It is both confusing and it makes the strategic goals of the game way too fluid. It also ignores other, less tangible things like patriotism, population logistics and defense and something called shared national consciousness. They are less quantifiable things, but they are reasons why, even though very French, Quebec is not Paris and Ottawa is not London. What good is your political capital really if all your people are separated from you under enemy occupation?

    @Argothair:

    Also, I think having a meaningful ability to build units after the fall of your capital will change the point at which players abandon their capitals. Right now, players hold on to their capitals until it becomes abundantly clear that their entire army will be handily wiped out if they try to hold it. By the time Germany has 60+ troops adjacent to Moscow, the Russians barely have any territories left besides Moscow, so the best the Russians can hope for is a wandering nomadic horde that holds one territory at a time. On the other hand, if Russia had the option to fall back to a more defensible position, maybe they would take advantage of that opportunity and therefore be able to trade/hold more territory. A Russian stack holding at Omsk could reunite the Siberian and European armies faster and would be stronger relative to the invading German and Japanese forces. A Russian capital at Omsk wouldn’t have a huge income, but it could reasonably trade and deadzone for 15+ IPCs for a few turns, which could be interesting. I don’t see that as “delaying the inevitable defeat,” because if the Germans or the Japanese have to pull their stack back to defend their own capital, then the Russians could increase their income and sustain themselves indefinitely, whether or not they recapture Moscow.

    That said, I’m not wedded to the idea of secondary capitals per se – what’s important to me is that powers have a way to place units after their original capital is lost. I could live with the infantry-spawn idea.

    By the time the Germany has 60+ troops outside of Moscow… it will not matter where the Soviet capital is. The Soviets all will die regardless.


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