Quicker/Simpler/Faster game?



  • I’ve been thinking a lot about how to modify Global 1939 to make it less complicated, and playable in less time.  Here are a few ideas I’ve been toying with:

    1. Change the start date to either June or December 1941.  Barring outrageously bad dice rolling or very poor decisions on the part of Germany, it’s pretty much inevitable that Poland and France are going to fall.  While it’s kind of fun to play out the Battle of France, it does add time and complexity.  By using a later start date you eliminate having to figure out what units and territories go Vichy.  Also, I don’t particularly enjoy tracking the diplomacy aspect of the game, and I like to eliminate keeping up with American entry status and production limits.  I’m leaning toward the following:

    a. Start in June 1941 (the eve of Barbarossa).  Turn order:
        i. Germany, Italy, Vichy, and Axis minors
        ii. Russia and Communist China
        iii. Atlantic British, Pacific British, ANZAC
        iv. Japan
        v. USA and Nationalist China
      b. I’d position the Japanese starting forces so they can recreate Pearl Harbor and the invasion of the Philippines on turn one, if that’s what they want to do.  It’s sort of fudging the time line a bit by segueing from Summer to Winter of 1941 in the same turn.  But, given the geographic separation of the European and Pacific theaters, I think we can get away with it.  By letting the Germans play out the opening moves of Barbarossa, instead of starting in December 1941, it saves having to figure out what the aftermath of the first turn of the invasion of Russia would look like.  It also gives the German player the flexibility to modify his strategy a bit from what the Germans did historically.

    1. Eliminate most of the special units, such as SS, U.S. and Japanese carrier aircraft, heavy tanks, etc.  Apart from cutting down on complexity, this helps a bit with crowding on the European map, since you can represent all your tanks or infantry with one stack, instead of having a separate stack for SS, Guards, etc.  So each country has the same units available for purchase.  But I’m still deciding whether or not to keep country specific attack/defense values and/or purchase prices.  I’m more inclined to retain the differences in purchase prices to discourage unrealistic things, like massive Japanese tank armies or Russian aircraft carriers.  I’d like to keep paratroops, and probably marines.  Allow anyone to build them, but make them more expensive for countries that historically didn’t.  Also use a separate air transport unit, instead of using bombers to drop paratroops.  Air transport:  Cost 6/Attack 0/Defense 0/Move 4 (loaded) or 6 (unloaded).  Paratroop:  Cost 4/Attack 2(3 on first round of combat if air dropped)/Defense 4/Move 1.

    2. Modify factory production.  Instead of major ICs building 10 units and minors building 3, change it to a multiple of the economic value of the territory.  Majors can build up to 10 times the printed value, and minors can build 3 times the value.  So a territory with a printed value of 4 could build 40 IPCs worth of units with a major IC, or 12 IPCs worth of units with a minor IC.  This keeps battleships from being built in, say, Siam or Australia.  Modify damage from strategic bombing accordingly.  In other words, one point of damage reduces the multiplier by 1, so a minor IC with one point of damage can only produce 2 times the printed value of the territory.
      Now it’s a matter of coming up with starting forces and initial deployments.  I’ve got a copy of World in Flames I can use to convert the starting forces from the 1941 scenarios.  Does anyone have any suggestions for different sources to use?  Or any suggestions about other rules to modify to keep the game moving?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Then just setup Death Heads 40 game.



  • Hi, SS,

    Thanks for the tip.  When I try to check out the links, it asks for a username and password.  Any suggestions?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    No I don’t. The links should open for you



  • Ah.  Figured it out.  Didn’t like the version of Firefox I was using.  I switched to Internet Explorer and it worked.  Thanks again.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Did you look at map and have any thought on playing on this map ?



  • Hehe, my interest is a quicker, comprehensively complex, and faster game filled with unique units and tactics.
    But I get the appeal of a game you can finish in one evening. The fact that it takes nearly a month to finish a regular game is a bit discouraging.

    I found though, that tweaking the order of play really speeds things up if you have decently experienced guys that are ready to go when it’s their turn.

    Germany, Communist China, FEC, Nationalist China.
    ANZAC, (Italy), Soviet Far East, Soviet Union, France, (Japan).
    (Japan), Britain, (Italy), USA, Canada, South Africa.

    If you have four or more players this works great. Everyone has got something going on where it won’t influence other parts of the globe, and as long as players don’t stare off into the blue while they wait, but prep to buy and strategize on others turns.

    I’ve been debating if it would speed up or slow down progress if units where purchased a turn before deployment (signifying training up or building. You would buy Units at the end of your turn, and also deploy units purchased the turn before.
    Would it break into two camps: those that super strategize turns ahead (taking way more time), and those that kinda shrug and buy a little of what they guess may be needed (taking less time).
    I don’t think anyone can accurately plan that far ahead especially with opponents doing the same, so personally I’d be the shrugging type.

    The super stratagizers kill speed, and I think I’m one of them if I deploy troops same turn I purchase. I think we would see a lot more defensive purchases all around, never know when you may need to protect your capital. Could be a bonus for the Militia too, one turn production.
    Anyways, just some thoughts.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Most people won’t play a game with a bunch of changes. There’s only a handful that play G36. Nice map but to many rules and don’t care for the lower valued territories and the victory conditions all over the place.
    My play group will not play this game. I know of another play group that won’t play this game also. I also waited a year after I bought the map waiting for 39 rules and setup. That to me was a bunch of BS. Also was told they weren’t going to answer any questions or talk stratigies unless you went to site or there facebook. So i got a problem with 36 talk over here. IMO  They just add more stuff to game and make more money because you have to buy the stuff so you can play the game.
    We do play the 1st Edition HBG G39 game. That has plenty of stuff in that. Took the G40 guys awhile to get all the new stuff down.

    Now I’m in a process of using Deaths Heads map and setups with added pieces with NA s and Tech and trying to make it a shorter game were Axis has to win by turn 10.



  • @SS:

    Most people won’t play a game with a bunch of changes. There’s only a handful that play G36. Nice map but to many rules and don’t care for the lower valued territories and the victory conditions all over the place.
    My play group will not play this game. I know of another play group that won’t play this game also. I also waited a year after I bought the map waiting for 39 rules and setup. That to me was a bunch of BS. Also was told they weren’t going to answer any questions or talk stratigies unless you went to site or there facebook. So i got a problem with 36 talk over here. IMO  They just add more stuff to game and make more money because you have to buy the stuff so you can play the game.
    We do play the 1st Edition HBG G39 game. That has plenty of stuff in that. Took the G40 guys awhile to get all the new stuff down.

    Now I’m in a process of using Deaths Heads map and setups with added pieces with NA s and Tech and trying to make it a shorter game were Axis has to win by turn 10.

    To each their own man! I’m sure when A&A first came around, RISK players probably thought it had too many rules too. Eventually those that play will play, and those that don’t; won’t.

    There is probably heaps that won’t play 1936, true, I have a play group that does, sometimes, but even if I didn’t; I like modding it and tweaking it. It’s a hobby, and generally harmless. It’s honestly not too big a deal for me, I play a game of G40 once a month and occasionally a G36 game. But I’m not bothered by lack of interest.

    I don’t think I’ll ever play G36 39 start. Doesn’t interest me at all. Even G40 doesn’t interest me too much beyond actually playing a strategic A&A game and finishing in a day.
    I find G40 is so predictable and the first addition G39 as well. The initial moves are so well discussed that nothing is new. Even if you add or take away Units  it doesn’t change things up much. It’s become doctrine.
    If the only way Japan can win is by X, Y or Z, then that becomes math problem,  probability and attrition.
    It’s not that simple, I know, but I like the fact that in my last game as Axis in 1936, the Italians never went to war. Ever.
    By doing so, it tied up the whole British fleet shadowing the Italians. The British had a larger economy, but they couldn’t do anything in case the Italians actually did go to war.
    I think that’s brilliant that I can do that. G40? Nope. G39? Perhaps, but what’s the point, the board is already set for war, with the moves the designers planned, might as well.
    I like being off  of that chessboard, and in the sandbox of 1936.

    Anyways, sorry if my talk of 1936 is annoying on the posts. I’ll ask the moderators to make a separate GW 1936 page and then those that like G36 will be out of your hair.

    I wasn’t really asking the designers questions though, so I figured I could write here. Is it really that much of a problem for you?

    Hehe, you don’t have to buy all the new stuff from HBG, just buy what you like! Hell, if the rules say add a torpedo boat, I’ve been adding destroyers, screw that fiddly stuff. Same think with coastal subs. No big deal. It’s simpler that way too. Oh and sea planes. Rubbish.
    You can always cross off all the stuff you don’t like, the earlier 1936 games I’ve played, I never did buy any fancy stuff, it got too crowded.

    I like it now though, its a lot of fun with some of the pieces and expansions. Like the Spanish war, makes for a lot of politics sometimes.  🙂 🙂

    But that’s the nature of business, of capitalism really, selling things, and that’s okay.
    A&A had to start somewhere.

    Mmm! I’ll have to check our Deaths Heads map! Is that on the 36 map or 39?



  • I’m pretty much in the same boat as Jinx. I love the sandbox feel of a tactically based boardgame. One of my major struggles with the base game and with many of the alternates is that they force you to repeat history. I love the 36 map and rules because the allow so much flexibility and tactical consideration. Certainly the Axis is encouraged and rewarded when they follow history. My gaming group has only experienced my sandbox variant and honestly when we tried to roll with the original rules the gameplay was terribly slow and boring.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    It’s at top page in Global War thread. Click on Global War 40/41 click on page 1 Download map. It’s the map that Deaths Head designed and HBG took his design and made there map with not giving no royalties to Deaths Head.
    Your gonna do what u want to do.

    And by the way I was expressing my point of view and I’m a big fan of added stufff to games. Yes they do get predictable after time. But with my things in 40 game has Tech, NA s, Event Cards, Generals and a modified map where Japan most hold islands for money.
    This game will add all kinds of different scenarios.



  • I agree that playing the 36 map leads to a very different mindset when developing tactics. That is actually one of the reasons I enjoy the earlier start so much. As Japan I am able to hold my islands as staging point t before I make a major offensive. My last play through I was actually able to build a defensive fleet to counter forays by The Aussies and then used a massive invasion force to wreck Calcutta and establish a strong foothold across the middle east. The US got really unlucky as far as die rolls were concerned and were unable to get into the war as early as they may have liked. The other rules and expansion have some flexibility or are optional. I’m actually working over a revised set of victory objectives for the three factions to help each one be viable to play. I’d love to be able to extend gameplay into the early stages of the cold war. I find the game becomes less about crushing a specific group or nation and more about advancing your politcal agenda via war.



  • @SS:

    It’s at top page in Global War thread. Click on Global War 40/41 click on page 1 Download map. It’s the map that Deaths Head designed and HBG took his design and made there map with not giving no royalties to Deaths Head.
    Your gonna do what u want to do.

    And by the way I was expressing my point of view and I’m a big fan of added stufff to games. Yes they do get predictable after time. But with my things in 40 game has Tech, NA s, Event Cards, Generals and a modified map where Japan most hold islands for money.
    This game will add all kinds of different scenarios.

    That’s a shame about Deaths Heads map, royalties etc, pretty sad it came to that.

    Heh, I’m not trying to knock you SS, most everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    Heck your version sounds awesome! Is there anyway you can share your “NA” (national achievements? And event cards with me too? I’m nearly done a prototype reference sheet and would love to add a few more things.



  • @Talkalots:

    My gaming group has only experienced my sandbox variant and honestly when we tried to roll with the original rules the gameplay was terribly slow and boring.

    Hehe nice! That means it’s a game well modded!  😄
    What kinda changes have you made? I know you revamped your tech system, what else did you tweak?



  • @Talkalots:

    I agree that playing the 36 map leads to a very different mindset when developing tactics. That is actually one of the reasons I enjoy the earlier start so much. As Japan I am able to hold my islands as staging point t before I make a major offensive. My last play through I was actually able to build a defensive fleet to counter forays by The Aussies and then used a massive invasion force to wreck Calcutta and establish a strong foothold across the middle east. The US got really unlucky as far as die rolls were concerned and were unable to get into the war as early as they may have liked. The other rules and expansion have some flexibility or are optional. I’m actually working over a revised set of victory objectives for the three factions to help each one be viable to play. I’d love to be able to extend gameplay into the early stages of the cold war. I find the game becomes less about crushing a specific group or nation and more about advancing your politcal agenda via war.

    That sounds grand! Those American income rolls can really change things up.
    Extending the game to the Cold War would be pretty slick. Hmm, using units from Amerika could also give you range of miniatures to work towards, it would have to be a Facist/American Cold War though… :x

    Hey, I know I’ve asked this a bit, but can you share what you have for victory objectives? I’m kinda hung up on mine and can’t think of anything better then vanilla (at least for a few nations).

    I plan on sharing what I’ve got with everyone at some point if anyone is interested, with credit to all contributors.



  • Well, the Tech Trees actually happened because I had expanded the units to make things more interesting. So kind of a three prong trident. I switched to using D-20’s to help with the similarities between units and made units less effective against all types of units. So Heavy Battleships are the rulers of the sea, strategic bombers are the bane of facilities and unprotected land units, heavy tanks and self propelled artillery and the masters of the land, but each of those respective "Rulers must be supported and by the right supporting cast, and with a simple approach those units can even be negated, I gave cruisers an ability to function as a AA gun ( at the loss of that unit as a seaborne combatant) I’m using a pre combat round of air superiority to help decide the effectiveness of fighters and tac bombers. (Against units with no air support, fighters and tac bombers are a free pass to a win. I removed land units ability to attack air units, ships still can hit air units) Honestly the biggest struggle has been how ineffective and frustrating infantry is, because they roll so low, its a struggle to keep them effective. I’m also using the three headed power system (Democracy/Monarchy, Fascism, Communism) which allows the Russians to get free of the “Allies” and if they desire, hammer out a secret peace with the fascists to advance the greater goals of communism.

    The simple idea I’ve had for the Victory Conditions is simple, the game is declared to end when one major power system falls. So the US/UK Commonwealth/France for the Democracy/Monarchy, Germany/Italy/Japan for the Fascists, and Russia/Chinese Communists for the Communists.

    Each Faction has simple goals, with each one being a little different.

    D/M want to liberate occupied countries, push back the tide of Fascism and keep Communism within borders

    CCP want to control the homeland, spread communist influence, and gain control of strategic resources.

    Axis want to dominate their hemisphere, eradicate old rivals, reestablish ancient empires.

    So, the way it ends up working, is The Axis want to grab land and are rewarded for controlling large swathes of territory. The Allies want to fight the Axis into submission, all while keeping a weather eye of the subtle movements of communism. If the Allies and the Axis get over involved in the war with each other then the Communists will be able to snatch a win easily. The Axis must grab land, defend against the Allies and cut the head off the Communist dragon, the allies need to regain land, cut the head off of the Fascist dragon, and the Communists need the Fascists and the Democrats to maim each other.

    my sample for the axis looks like this

    10 VP - Greater Roman Empire (Control of all Territories bordering the Mediterranean)
    7 VP - Unified Europe (Control of all mainland European Territories, minus Spain, Greece, Turkey, and any Russian territory)
    5 VP - Fascist Spain (If Spain is controlled by either Fascist Spaniards, or occupied by Axis forces)
    5 VP - Ukraine (Western, Eastern, Kiev, Taurida, Bessarabia)
    16 VP - Eliminated Rivals (8 per defeated Communist Nation)
    7 VP - Resource Control (Dutch East Indies)
    5 VP - Rising Sun (Control of Chinese coastline)
    1 VP - Influence (1 for every non original Major City, marked in red, and Capital controlled by the Fascists, total of 29 VP’s)

    84-Total Possible VP’s

    and communists

    9 VP - Chinese Motherland (Control of all of mainland China, including Korea)
    5 VP - Polish Serfs (Control of all 5 Polish territories)
    8 VP - Greater Russian Empire (Control of Western Europe, minus north of the Baltic, and Spain)
    1/2 of a VP - Strategic Resource Control ( 1 VP for every two Middle Eastern or East Indian Territory the Communists Control, total of 11 VP’s)
    6 VP - Communist Spain
    1/2 of a VP - Red Dawn (1 VP for every two North American Territories controlled, total of 15 VP’s)
    1 VP - Communist Influence (1 for every non original Major City, marked in red, or Capital controlled by the Communists, total of 27 VP’s)

    77 - Total of Possible VP’s

    So once either the Communists fall, or the Democrats, then you would total the scores of the remaining powers to decide a victor.



  • We are three players in my group. After playing A&A Global for several years we switched to Global War.
    As many others we hit the problems with the same starting moves, game in-balances (dark skies…) etc.
    We looked into modding our way out, but chose GW when the new map came out. i agree that the '39 setup took forever, and they should spend more time finalising their existing portfolio before releasing new expansions.
    (and lets not get into the problems of buying from the European store…)

    Anyway, you can opt to go down the ‘design-your-own-game-based-on-a-nice-AAG40-map’ route, and most of us have a small game designer inside  🙂 When we went down that route (with plenty inspiration from the board!) we ended up with continuously implementing new stuff. New ideas come and go, and sometimes they screw the balance.

    For my group, flow is important. It takes some time to reach a stage where things ‘flows’. The rules have to be figured out etc.
    So adding (or removing) new stuff all the times messed with our flow.

    We stick to the basic GW rules, with a few expansions thrown in. If an expansion adds more complexity without adding more fun/balance, we don’t use it.

    To improve ‘flow’ we do this:

    • Use ‘Taskforce’ pieces for the situations where there are many units in a territory
    • Move ahead. I.e. when the Russian player is doing his thing, the Japanese players begins his moves
    • The Russian player controls France
    • Have a computer running with the rulebook opened. Very easy to search the pdf. Also the FAQ.
    • We bought boxes for nails and screws for the units. Only one unit pr. room. All boxes are identical. Makes it easy to find a fighter, because it is always located in the same place.

  • 2017

    We are a group of 6 usually, with sometimes more or less of us. We regularly meet every 2 weeks ish. We have a table to leave the game setup between days. Or setup by the host before the game. Due to this if someone cant make it the others cover so life and the game both continue without excessive conflict. We use the HBG 1936-45 map currently, but we started with A&A global 1940. First run was rediculously slow so we did a few things to adjust it to our preferred level of fun/flow

    1)Similarly to munck we also use screw bins all stored the same. No messing around in the bin looking for a sub etc. Speeds up the flow. Decide purchases while others are playing, though sometimes plans are changed by others, so this isn’t a hard rule.

    2)We kept the turn order the same. US controls french and china. But once US are done China and Germany play with an overlap they dont really interact. We also allow the next player to start his turn while the current player is collecting income etc.so long as they have placed units and will not interact with the map anymore. This realy speeds up the flow.  The next player is declaring purchases and rolling tech, while the previous player rolls income increases and collects income.

    3)So some printed rules are not incorporated by us. If someone wants to try one we give it a shot, it gets voted in or voted out.

    Initially we decided to ignore major rules changes from A&A versions. And just used the varrient map and setup. We skipped Combat air patrol and kept the destroyer for sub detection as an example. Too much explaining and  retraining, though we may add it later. The same is done to anything that takes time to absorb internally. Especially if it was played different in a previous version.

    Most importantly we play for FUN. Anything that slows it down needlessly or causes confusion is removed, and tried in small batches. This way we can test if anything destroys ballance or is unnecessarily complex. We vote it out and try something else, or we like it and keep it.


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