Global 1940 Map Position of Axis Powers


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

    Here’s something about the Global 1940 game board map that I had never noticed until today, and which I don’t recall being mentioned in earlier threads about the layout of the map (for instance the recent one about the sea zones).

    The Europe 1940 and Pacific 1940 theatre maps each consist of two side-by-side boards, with each board consisting of three folding panels.  Each theatre map therefore has one vertical line at the centre of the map (the junction point between the left and right panels) and two horizontal lines (the folding creases) which divide the map into a northern section, a middle-latitude section and a southern section.  When I plotted these lines (see the first attached picture below), I noticed that the two Axis powers on the Europe board (Gernany and Italy) and the single Axis power on the Pacific board (Japan) occupy exactly the same position on their respective maps: at the intersection point between the vertical centreline and the upper horizontal folding crease (see the second attached picture below).

    I don’t know if this identical positioning is intentional or just a coincidence.  Intentionally or not, the two maps could be seen as reflecting the geopolitics of the world from the point of view of the Axis powers: with them in the middle as the protagonists, and with a collection of antagonists surrounding them in all directions around the edges.  Or maybe it’s just an unintended side-effect of the fact that North America is a convenient place to put the break between the extreme left and extreme right ends of the four-panel Global board.  Any thoughts on this?

    Global 1940 2nd ed Folding Creases.jpg
    Global 1940 2nd ed Axis Map Positions.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Afternoon Marc.
    You do notice the weirdest things, don’t you?
    Hope you have been well.


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

    @wittmann:

    You do notice the weirdest things, don’t you?

    In the absence of new A&A games having been published for quite a while, I’m pretty much stuck with having to notice new things about the old games.  Then again, I admit that my mind does function in weird ways.



  • Well this is certainly a very interesting observation, although a bit scary to ever picture Germany and Japan as ‘protagonists’


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

    @Tirano:

    although a bit scary to ever picture Germany and Japan as ‘protagonists’

    Yes, that’s why I said “from their point of view.”  I once a television program in which a famous movie actor (it as a long time ago, and I can’t recall who it was) was answering questions from a class of drama students.  One student asked: “What’s the secret to playing a great villain?”  The actor answered: “The secret to playing a great villain is to remember that in his own mind he’s not the villain, he’s the hero.”



  • @CWO:

    @Tirano:

    although a bit scary to ever picture Germany and Japan as ‘protagonists’

    Yes, that’s why I said “from their point of view.”  I once a television program in which a famous movie actor (it as a long time ago, and I can’t recall who it was) was answering questions from a class of drama students.  One student asked: “What’s the secret to playing a great villain?”  The actor answered: “The secret to playing a great villain is to remember that in his own mind he’s not the villain, he’s the hero.”

    Very deep sir.



  • Looks to me that X marks the spot for the Allies to win lol


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

    @WILD:

    Looks to me that X marks the spot for the Allies to win lol

    Good point.  Especially in Japan’s case, where the two lines of the X meet practically over Tokyo.  And on the Europe map, they meet at a point nearly the same distance between Berlin and Rome, so that’s nicely balanced.  The spot is roughly near Stuttgart, though the map isn’t accurate enough to pin that down precisely, and it’s also not too far from Munich and Nuremberg.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Marc - have you ever considered working for a living! Or getting another hobby? Too much time on your hands! 😄

    In both theatres the axis powers were pushing outwards to expand their frontiers and the allies pushing back to contain and then beat them. So the axis being at the centre makes perfect sense.

    But being so perfectly central presumably did require some gerrymandering. But since I have never taken note of it, it has been done well.


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

    @Private:

    Marc - have you ever considered working for a living! Or getting another hobby?

    There are other hobbies beside A&A?  😮



  • @CWO:

    @Private:

    Marc - have you ever considered working for a living! Or getting another hobby?

    There are other hobbies beside A&A?  😮

    Certainly not anything that I can think of.

    ???


  • 2018 2017

    They certainly did consider themselves the “center of the new world”.  Since the international date line is arbitrary, as is the Grenwich line, I’ve heard some interesting points made that maps made in England tend to place the UK in a visually prominent and focused position, same with the USA.    Maybe its a kind of subtle chauvinism to keep the focus themselves.

    One interesting point I heard once is what would you do on a planet with no giant ocean on one side;  the International Date Line is very conveniently placed here, where very few people live; since any landmass or nation divided by this line would have to deal with the not inconsiderable inconvenience of it being two different business days in a limited geographical area.

    Another muse here?  Place the boards in the reverse order, with America in the middle and the axis split across the board edge.  Nothing of substance can be changed and it is amazing how much processing your brain now needs to do simply because the spatial relationship between your landmarks have changed.  Its not convenient to do this because you have to make a bunch of land attacks on the “wrap”, but it still could make for a fun game/setup.

    this is one of the reasons that I don’t play Tripple A;  we have really noticed that one’s natural ability to sense when a stack is correctly composed or big enough or odds are favorable are highly conditioned on the visibility of the three dimensional pieces and their presence on the board.  Tripple A is extremely disorienting in this regard;  a series of icons with numbers feels completely different than seeing the physical chips and units because we have become so habituated to evaluating things at a glance based on their appearance on the board (since 1985).


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

    @taamvan:

    They certainly did consider themselves the “center of the new world”.  Since the international date line is arbitrary, as is the Grenwich line, I’ve heard some interesting points made that maps made in England tend to place the UK in a visually prominent and focused position, same with the USA.    Maybe its a kind of subtle chauvinism to keep the focus themselves.

    One interesting point I heard once is what would you do on a planet with no giant ocean on one side;  the International Date Line is very conveniently placed here, where very few people live; since any landmass or nation divided by this line would have to deal with the not inconsiderable inconvenience of it being two different business days in a limited geographical area.

    There’s an interesting book titled “A Strategic Atlas: Comparative Geopolitics of the World’s Powers” which, among other things, contains several maps of the world that show how it looks when you use different countries or regions as the centre of the map, thus illustrating how the world (and its power dynamics) might be perceived from the point of view of the people who live there.  As I recall, it also has a map showing the staggering geographic imbalance (in terms of surface area) that existed between the Axis and Allied powers in WWII.

    Arthur C. Clarke once wrote a funny short story (I can’t remember the title) about a future Mars colonized with vast cities covered by pressure domes, one of them being called Meridian City because it sits on the Martian equivalent of the International Date Line.  (One of Clarke’s characters makes the point that on Earth we were able to dump the problem into the Pacific Ocean, but that this solution isn’t available on Mars because Mars has no oceans.  On the other hand, Clarke doesn’t explain why his colonists chose to build a city right smack on the IDL, since presumably Mars isn’t crowded enough to force people to locate a city there.)  Anyway, the plot revolves around a thief from Earth who plans to steal a priceless artifact from a museum in Meridian City, and whose complicated methodology to keep the theft undetected involves a whole day’s in the museum on the one day of the week when the museum is closed.  Unfortunately for the hapless thief, his hotel and the museum are on opposite sides of the city – and on opposite sides of the IDL – and he misinterprets by 24 hours what the actual closing day is, so he ends up being caught when the staff opens the museum for business in the morning while he’s still inside with only half of his work done.


  • 2018 2017

    Thanks for the reference;  I am certain that the short story you refer to is the origin of the date line concept as well, probably ran into that point on the Wikipedia.  really great sci fi often takes a simple musing idea or observation and turns that into an entire fantasy premise and I love ACC for that kind of thing, same Twilight Zone.

    Always enjoy the conversation sir.  Jon


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

    I’ve checked up on the story title and it’s called Trouble With Time (originally published under the variant title Crime on Mars).


  • 2018 2017

    We going to see you at Gencon?  Very excited as it is my first time and I’ve always wanted to go (ever since the days of Car Wars, D&D 2ed and Samurai Swords).


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

    @taamvan:

    We going to see you at Gencon?

    Unfortunately no, due to a combination of work commitments and geographic distance.


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