• '17 '16

    Awwww… bummer… I just read the rules to 1942 SE and realized (like 1941), there’s no rules for neutral countries other than "VERBOTEN".  How lame… even A&A Classic had Neutral country rules… I kinda figured 1941 wouldn’t but thought for sure 1942 SE would have them.

    So I’ve seen a lot of people with custom neutral power armies and what-not… I guess I’m to assume neutral country rules are only covered in the 1940 game(s)?

    I’d like to see what those rules are for neutral countries (assuming they exist in the 1940 games)… does anybody use neutral country rules with 1942 SE?  Either hijacked from 1940 or custom made?  Thoughts on the matter welcome.

  • The 1940 neutral rules are pretty straight forward, even for new players(except the Mongolia rule). Basically there are some neutrals that are pro allies where an allied player can just walk into it on its non-combat move and the standing neutral army there joins forces with that allied player, same rules apply for pro axis neutrals as well when a axis player walks in on its non-combat. Now if an allied player would want to take a pro axis neutral for example, that player would have to attack and defeat the standing army there to gain the IPCs for that territory on its combat move. And then there are strick neutrals where if, for example, are attacked by an axis player then all the other strick neutrals would become pro allied. Or view-versa if an allied player would attack a strick neutral.

    I haven’t seen then in 42.2 or heard of them being incorporated into it yet however. Might be a bit complexed for a smaller board size like 42.2 when comparing it to global.

  • '17 '16

    I might have to just fast-forward the 1984 MB A&A Classic rules into 1942 SE… not sure… i’ll review the classic rules on the matter and look more closely at the 1940 rules… I hate the thought of treating neutrals like solid blocks of insurmountable granite… there has to be a way to make it work with 1942.

  • Be careful how the rules are crafted for neutrals. Some countries can take advantage of this and seriously screw the other side over (Sahara, Himalayas, and South America).

    I would say that Neutrals should get twice the amount of infantry that they are worth (assuming you are assigning them values). Some may have to get extra simply because of their strategic placement. For example, Turkey should get some extra consideration. If either G or R can ferry troops from Turkey to Southeast Europe, or vice versa, then the other side is screwed over majorly.

  • '17 '16

    Ya, I’m not in a rush to mess with the neutral rules… I’m just a tad taken aback that there simply aren’t any at all for 1942… I kinda expected as much for 1941, but I was shocked when 1942 had no rules for neutrals.

    I was mostly wondering if anyone had worked out any decent custom neutral rules for 1942 (or I can run with the theory 99.9% of everyone on this forum just plays Global 1940).

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    The 1940 neutral rules are pretty straight forward

    And from the point of view of sticklers-for-historical-accuracy they’re also pretty unrealistic and highly artificial.  They’re not really designed to represent neutral behavior accurately.  The Pro-Allied and Pro-Axis neutrals are basically handled in a way that encourages the players to bring into the war the countries which, although they were neutral in 1940, got conquered by one side or the other later on.  And the “strict neutrals” are basically designed to punish severely any player who strays from WWII’s actual roster of which countries got invaded.

    For more thoughts on this subject, see the Neutrals sections of my G40 map analysis thread:


  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    Yeah its a definite switch from Classic. 1942.2 uses the same modelling for neutrals as Revised, impassible, no fly overs etc. The 1940 games differentiate between geographically impassible regions, and politcally neutral territories of one sort or another. These later sometimes have a production value, or standing armies, sometimes not. Unlike Classic where you had to pay to invade, the 1940 games have a different kind of disincentive for invading the true neutrals, namely that all others go Pro-opposing side. I’m not sure how well any of those rules would work in a game like 1942.2. It’d probably be easier to model your rules on the Classic ones that you’re more familiar with. The usual suspects like Spain, Turkey etc. could probably be handled with an ipc cost to invade, but opening up the Sahara or the Himalayas would definitely mess with the balance around those areas. Africa in particular plays a lot differently in the games since Revised came out, than it used to play in Classic. The significance of Egypt and Suez is a lot more pronounced, since the Axis have to go through it if they want to get to the sub-Saharan ipcs by land.

    Other differences between 1942.2 and classic that might come as a bit of a surprise…

    Artillery! These can be quite significant to the gameplay if you’re used to the infantry push from classic. They provide a relatively inexpensive way to break down infantry walls if purchased in large numbers.

    Transports are now defenseless! This is by far the biggest change in my view, and than one that has the greatest effect on the new Air vs Naval dynamic. Specifically airpower is even more important than before for covering against enemy fleets. Bombers are significantly cheaper at 12, and are the most effective fleet killers now. Often times fighters can take over the roll of fodder units on attack (in conjunction with the hard hitting cheap bombers) for mass air attacks against navies. So you need to be particularly careful about protecting your fleets with defensive carriers.

    Production for new units caps at the ipc value of the factory territory, with a different mechanic for bombing raids. The SBR cap is twice the value of the territory, and you pay to repair the damaged production slots at the factory instead of losing ipcs outright.

    Tanks cost 6, and defend at 3! Their strategic role is now almost the exact opposite of what it was in Classic. In Classic their best use was on attack with a healthy stack of inf fodder to cover the advance and defend the expensive tanks from counter attacks. Now they are used more often on rush defense, as a way to deter largescale counter attacks against the infantry/art stacks in newly conquered territories where fighters cannot land. Of course they are still useful on attack as well, but its the defensive ability to break a deadzone that distinguishes them in the newer games. Otherwise their only advantage over infantry or infantry/artillery for the same cost, is their movement. It can be a little difficult to get your head around and takes some definite getting used to.

    No Atlantic shucks, they have all been eliminated with the exception of the Baltic sz 5 shuck out of UK.

    That’s for 1942.2

    1941 is a different sort of beast. It’s billed as the starter board, and it’s ostensibly faster to learn, and set up, but the gameplay has a rather different feel and in my view can be even more challenging than 1942.2 to puzzle out. The unit replacement cost (relative to total income) in 1941 is the most expensive of any A&A game. Meaning that the key to the game is in using your starting units to the greatest possible effect and losing as few starting units as possible in the process. This is true in all A&A games, but particularly so in 1941, because the ipc and production values skew very low, and all the production centers are fixed. If playing 1941 with new people I would strongly suggest incorporating some kind of recurring income bonus, so they don’t get frustrated when they realize that the game is less about battles and more about positioning and waiting.

    Another approach you might consider by way of an introduction, is to simply use the battle board to stage mini battles, as a means of familiarizing the kids with the unit types and the basics of A&A combat.

    Also after you pick up the games, you might want to check out tripleA. Redrum has developed a pretty competent computer AI, that handles 1941 and 1942 quite well. While you’re waiting for your players to learn the game for superior face to face match ups, tripleA provides a way to play solo against the machine and learn the ropes on the new maps that have come out since Classic.

    Hope you have fun, and welcome back man!


  • '17 '16

    Thanks for the rundown Black Elk… ya… i got time to look over things… there’s definitely a lot to soak in.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Yeah, in terms of the complexity level, they’re pitching 1942.2 as the intermediate-complexity game, so you would think it would have at least some way to interact with the neutrals. On the other hand, historically by 1942 pretty much everyone who was willing to fight without being directly invaded had already chosen up sides, so there’s not much room for realistic politics – either you invade a country and it fights back, or you leave the country alone and it leaves you alone.

    I think the countries that really cry out for some more action on the 1942.2 map are Turkey and Argentina – Turkey because the scale of the map is too small to make it worthwhile to build a navy that’s stuck in the Black Sea for the whole game, and Argentina because it’s really weird and disappointing that Brazil is surrounded on all sides by unplayable nations – there’s no point in going to South America using OOB rules, because it’s so far away from everything else that even a 3-IPC territory isn’t tempting.

    I would be interested in trying a house rule that fixed that by making Turkey a 2-IPC country defended by 5 infantry, and Argentina a 2-IPC country defended by 2 infantry. The neutral infantry just sits there in place unless you invade the neutral country, in which case the infantry sits there and fights back. You can pass the Turkish Straits into or out of the Black Sea if  and only if you controlled Turkey at the beginning of the turn.

    I think adding these neutrals there would tend to discourage players from totally abandoning either the Med or the South Pacific. A mainstream British move is to evacuate both the Indian Ocean fleet and the Australian fleet on turn 1, taking 2 Australian infantry along with it and leaving essentially no defenders for ANZAC. The thought is that ANZAC isn’t worth diveritng a transport to take, even against minimal defenders, because it’s far away from Japan and there’s nowhere else useful for the transport to go. Allowing Japan to follow up by attacking Australia, then New Zealand, then Argentina, then Brazil all on consecutive turns would help punish that kind of British cowardice. Similarly, sometimes the Germans will gain control of North Africa and then totally evacuate both the north shore and south shore of the Mediterranean Sea, even though Russia controls the Caucasus and maybe even the Ukraine. Germany can just move all its troops from Italy northeast toward Belorussia, and all of its troops from Algeria southeast to Sudan, secure in the knowledge that it will never make sense for Russia to build any ships. However, with Turkey as a potential power in play, Russia could at least theoretically strike back by moving from the Caucasus to conquer Turkey the same turn that Russia builds a pair of transports in the Black Sea. Those transports would then be posed to seize Italy next turn, or at least to shatter a hastily-cobbled-together Italian defenses so that the Brits and Yanks can finish it off.

    Most games still wouldn’t feature any play in Argentina or Turkey, but I think the possibility of going there would change the game in an interesting and useful way.

  • '17 '16

    I don’t think you can just pick one or two neutrals and leave the others untouched.  You’re thinking of neutrals that could impact a certain strategy, but I really think one would need an overall approach to all neutrals.  There’s three major neutrals in the European theatre of operations… Spain, Sweden and Turkey… of course the South American neutrals and Mongolia.

    Would probably have to think of what, if any, the IPC value of the territory is, and what kind of army would defend it in case of attack, as well as if/who it joins in case of attack.  Make a neutral too weak, and its going to really mess with game strategies… make a neutral too strong, and it might as well be impassible. There’s a fine line to walk here.

    I’m just really disappointed that as the “mid-difficulty” level game 1942 is in the A&A lineup, they gave it intro-level rules for A&A.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    Here’s something you could try. For ease of play, give all attackable neutrals some set ipc/production value. I would suggest 1 ipc if you want to avoid introducing more potential factory locations into the game, or 2 ipcs if you do want the factory option. But pick a generic number and make all neutrals worth the same amount (this is so you don’t have to find a way to graphically represent different ipc values for each territory on the map.)

    Then to differentiate between these neutrals, use neutral standing armies. For this you could use chips or some of the inf sculpts you have left over from classic. The gray Germans would probably work well for this since they are unlikely to be confused with any of the colors from 1942.2.

    Any neutral territory that doesn’t have chips/infantry on it, is considered impassible. Place an upside down control marker on those territories.

    Those that do have armies (and no upside down marker) are considered attackable neutrals.

    Attackable neutrals cannot be flown over, they have to be conquered first. Once conquered they behave like all normal territories, in play at whatever generic ipc value you chose for all neutrals.

    This way it’s easy for your players to know how much a neutral is worth (all the same amount of ipcs, whether you go with 1 ipc for all, or 2 ipcs for all) and easy to tell at a glance how difficult it will be to conquer, since you can see the standing armies.

    This might not be perfect from an historical accuracy standpoint (all neutrals at the same ipc value) but it will be expedient for the gameplay, since those numbers are difficult to change without drawing on the map. The standing armies allow you to adjust the “difficulty” of attacking any particular neutral. So a strategically useful territory like Spain, Turkey, Afghanistan or Mongolia might have a sizeable standing army say 10-12 neutral infantry. If using actual sculpts instead of just chips, you could create more interesting standing armies, perhaps with neutral fighters or tanks to provide some  extra defensive support. A somewhat less strategically useful territory like Sweden, Switz or Saudi Arabia might have like 6 neutral infantry. Out of the way neutrals that are harder to contest with large scale attacks, or distraction territories (like those in south America, Mozambique, Angola, Eire) might just have 1, 2, or 3 inf.

    Then you just make a little neutral set up card, with the appropriate standing armies and impassibles listed in a chart, to fit whatever gameplay dynamic you’re after.

    This gives you a way to vary the “potency” of any particular neutral, via the standing armies, without having to assign them all different ipc values. And it gives a way to quickly denote which territories are impassible, with the upside down control markers.

    If you really want to adjust the individual ipc values of each neutral territory, this is possible as well, but requires that you create a special marker for the purpose. HBG sells some markers that might be useful for this, you might repurpose the markers for aircraft range, for example. Probably you’d only need markers for 1, 2, or 3 ipcs, since anything higher would likely be overpowered. As of yet, I’m not aware of anyone who’s attempted to get neutrals into the boxed game, though there is a tripleA game called Big World 1942 that uses the attackable neutral concept. It’s a somewhat larger scale map, with more neutrals than 1942.2 has, but you might want to check it out for some ideas.


  • '17 '16

    Those are some great ideas Black Elk, and much more in-line with kinda what I was thinking the way it should be.

    For argumentative purposes… say someone botches a neutral territory invasion (like if the Allies tried to invade Spain, but failed, or whatever)… what happens to the ‘neutral’ armies and IPC value of the territory after a failed attack? Do the armies and/or IPCs of the neutral power then go to a certain opposing player’s control at that point, or does it just sit there with whatever is left until someone conquers it?  If the Allies attempt but fail to take Spain in our example, and then do not follow up anymore, is it at that point an ally of Germany?  If not, can the Germans attack Spain at that point? What if they fail too?  Many possibilities.

    You’d have to assume if there are forces in neutrals designed to deter invasion, that they might actually stand a chance of successfully defending from such an invasion, so what would happen then?

  • I would assume that the a failed invasion would automatically place the neutral and its army into the other side’s possession. For instance, if the allies try to storm Afganistan, the Afgans would probably join the Axis because now the Allies are the enemy.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    In Big World and other games that used the basic attackable neutral concept we didn’t have any special rules to deal with a failed attack. If the attack failed the neutral remained neutral, just with forces depleted. Though it would certainly make sense after a failed attack to have the territory automatically go to the opposing side, probably with whatever neutral forces remaining just switched out for equivalent units of the opposing side. This might also be an interesting way to deter the 1-2 punch, since the first attacker would have to take the neutral in one go, without a teammate to follow up, otherwise the territory goes to the opportunity.

    This would be fairly simple to do, there is only one kink I can think of and that is determing which specific nation from the opposing side actually gets control of the territory after the failed attack. For a failed Allied attack this is probably easier, because the Axis team only has two nations. European Neutrals could go to Germany, Pacific/Asian neutrals to Japan. But with the Allies things could be a little more complicated in the case of a failed Axis attack.

    You could use proximity, whichever Allied Nation is closest gets the neutral after a failed Axis attack, but sometimes you might have a situation where say the UK and Russia are both immediately adjacent. Another way might be whichever nation is next in the turn order sequence gets the neutral. Or you could roll, 1-2 is Russia, 3-4 is UK, 5-6 is USA.
    Or you could assign it based on historical political persuasion. This would make sense for Spain or Mongolia where maybe they’d go Soviet support if attacked by an Axis player, but that could be more complicated than its worth, and might remove some of the gameplay interest. Or finally I guess you could let the Allied team simply choose amongst themselves which nation gets the neutral after a failed attack.

  • '17 '16

    I ordered 16xWhite infantry, 5xWhite Stuart Light Tanks, 4xWhite P-40s from HBG to represent possible neutral countries with varying setups… I’ll toss them in an organizer and have them handy for when/if I decide to implement some Neutral nation rules for 1942 SE.  I wanted a color that didn’t look remotely close to any other nation for neutrals.

    and then I went back and realized they had a “neutral nation set” and I ordered a couple of those… ugh… some things aren’t listed on every page they should be! lolz

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