Should we make better rules for invadable neutrals? (1940)



  • I’m happy to hear that you enjoy the 1939, which my group spent so much time on yet likes to ignore every time I bring it up lately.  All these new neutral rules have really helped to alleviate the problems of OOB neutral mayhem.  Aside from alternate setups, modified neutrals is the only house rule my group consistently uses for just about every game.

    I remember once we were playing with modified neutrals and three new players.  While one of the amateurs was messing around with Japan, his opponent was conquering South America as ANZAC.   Needless to say, these new players thoroughly enjoyed themselves and continue to promote modified neutrals for our gaming sessions.

    We have a system here in which at the start of most games each person is allowed to pick two house rules he or she wants to play with.  After everyone has made choices, we all vote on the selected house rules.  Any house rules receiving votes more than half the number of players will be used in that session.  Neutral changes almost always get implemented democratically.



  • @Moffett:

    We play these neutral rules along with CDG 1939 set up.  It seems to work pretty well.  Playing a game where Germany has invaded Turkey (at some cost) but now has direct access to the Caucasus and a 3 IPC factory and took Saudi Arabia for 2 IPC bonus.

    The CDG 1939 v3 setup is pretty fun and has become our standard.  As mentioned before, a Vichy option would be fun too.

    @piscolar:

    Here’s what I did. While it’s pretty much inconceivable all neutral countries would go to war if one of them was invaded, it’s NOT inconceivable some would have alliances, regional in nature and among countries with shared interests. Excluding Mongolia (whose rules I left the same), I created 4 alliances among the remaining neutrals. No, not everything in these alliances make sense (Switzerland and Afghanistan would never go to war unless they were invaded), but it adds a new dimension to the game. Also, invaded neutral countries have an impact on geopolitics, so countries need to think carefully before attacking. It is risky and costly, however, in some cases there is value in doing it - unlike in the actual game.

    Here’s the way it works: each alliance has one country that is the center of it all. This is the real gem - it either has the most IPC value or strategic value. The four countries are Sweden, Turkey, Argentina, and Spain. These countries each have a minor IPC and a proper military. This was easy to pick out, as these countries all had at least 2IPCs in value and 4+ call-ups. So I took their initial call-ups, and added 40IPCs worth of soldiers/bases for Argentina (4), 50 to Sweden and Spain (6), and 60 to Turkey (8). I based the units on what such a country would reasonably have. Sweden had advanced industry and an effective navy but hardly any air force in 1940; Spain was along the lines of Italy in land power, Turkey was mostly struggling to modernize but had fortifications and a small but professional british-trained air force (insignificant navy), Argentina had a small army and navy (though far better than its neighbors) and a great port.

    Here are the official rules and set up:

    If you attack a single neutral country, not all of them will become hostile - only ones they have a mutual defense pact with. There are four alliances on the map; an attack against one of these members is an attack on all.

    Mongolia is unaffected by these changes.

    If a territory/alliance is attacked, it will immediately join a specified member of the opposite side.

    Note: Each South American neutral “country” for our purposes has been combined. For example, Venezuela is now a part of Ecuador and Colombia. “Greater Venezuela” does not receive an IPC bonus for this, however it does receive an additional infantry unit per added territory. So instead of spawning +2 infantry when attacked, it will create +4. Same rules apply for Greater Argentina (Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay) and Greater Chile (Chile, Bolivia, Peru).

    Finally, note that Sierra Leone is UK territory and Liberia becomes a US territory once it enters the war. They are not neutral territories.

    Starting Neutral Territory Units:

    South American Alliance:
    Greater Venezuela: 4 Infantry
    Greater Chile: 4 Infantry
    Greater Argentina: 6 Infantry + 3 Artillery +  1 AAA + Naval Base + Destroyer (Sea Zone 85) + Minor IPC

    If attacked by the Allies, the South American Alliance joins Germany. If attacked by the Axis, the South American Alliance joins the US. All of the South American Alliance’s units and factories immediately become controlled by that player. An Axis attack on the South American Alliance is considered a declaration of war against the US. The US may not attack the South American Alliance until war against Axis has been declared.

    Total Alliance IPC Value: 6

    Iberian Alliance:
    Spain: 8 Infantry + 3 Artillery + 2 Tanks + 2 AAA + 1 Fighter + Minor IPC
    Portugal: 2 Infantry
    Mozambique: 2 Infantry
    Angola: 2 Infantry
    Rio de Oro
    Portuguese Guinea

    If attacked by the Allies, the Iberian Alliance joins Germany or Italy. If attacked by the Axis, the Iberian Alliance joins the UK (European Economy) or France. All of its units and factories immediately become controlled by that player. An Axis attack against Spain is considered a declaration of war against the US.

    Total Alliance IPC Value: 5

    Swedish-Swiss Alliance:
    Sweden: 6 Infantry + 4 Artillery + 2 Tanks + 1 Mech Infantry + 2 AAA + Destroyer (Sea Zone 113) + Minor IPC
    Switzerland: 2 Infantry

    If attacked by the Allies, Sweden joins Germany and Switzerland joins Germany or Italy. If attacked by the Axis, Sweden joins the UK (European Economy) and Switzerland joins France. All of their units and factories immediately become controlled by those players. An Axis attack against Sweden or Switzerland is considered a declaration of War against Russia and the US.

    Total IPC Value: 3

    Islamic Alliance:
    Turkey: 9 Infantry + 4 Artillery + 1 Tank + 1 Fighter + 2 AAA + Fortification + Minor IPC
    Saudi Arabia: 2 Infantry
    Afghanistan: 4 Infantry

    If attacked by the Allies, Turkey and Saudi Arabia join Germany or Italy, and Afghanistan joins Germany. If attacked by the Axis, Turkey and Afghanistan join Russia or UK (European Economy), and Saudi Arabia joins the UK (European Economy). All of the Islamic Alliance’s units and factories immediately become controlled by that player. An Axis attack on the Islamic Alliance is the equivalent of a declaration of war on Russia, the UK, ANZAC, and France. Russia may not attack the Islamic Alliance until war against Germany has been declared.

    Additionally, the Bosporus Straight is considered a universal national objective worth an additional +1 IPC to the player controlling it.

    Note: Italian and German national objectives include Saudi Arabia in their quest for Strategic Oil Reserves. If controlled, they gain an additional +2 IPCs such as in Northwest Persia, Iraq, and Persia.

    Total Alliance IPC Value: 5

    Well I love everything about this.  I think the “alliances” make sense and are easy to remember.  It gives both the element of greater standing armies to persuade against the decision to attack and also keeps the element of neighboring retaliation to further the strategic plus and minuses.


  • 2019 2018

    @carsonbparker said in Should we make better rules for invadable neutrals? (1940):

    @Moffett:

    We play these neutral rules along with CDG 1939 set up.  It seems to work pretty well.  Playing a game where Germany has invaded Turkey (at some cost) but now has direct access to the Caucasus and a 3 IPC factory and took Saudi Arabia for 2 IPC bonus.

    The CDG 1939 v3 setup is pretty fun and has become our standard.  As mentioned before, a Vichy option would be fun too.

    @piscolar:

    Here’s what I did. While it’s pretty much inconceivable all neutral countries would go to war if one of them was invaded, it’s NOT inconceivable some would have alliances, regional in nature and among countries with shared interests. Excluding Mongolia (whose rules I left the same), I created 4 alliances among the remaining neutrals. No, not everything in these alliances make sense (Switzerland and Afghanistan would never go to war unless they were invaded), but it adds a new dimension to the game. Also, invaded neutral countries have an impact on geopolitics, so countries need to think carefully before attacking. It is risky and costly, however, in some cases there is value in doing it - unlike in the actual game.

    Here’s the way it works: each alliance has one country that is the center of it all. This is the real gem - it either has the most IPC value or strategic value. The four countries are Sweden, Turkey, Argentina, and Spain. These countries each have a minor IPC and a proper military. This was easy to pick out, as these countries all had at least 2IPCs in value and 4+ call-ups. So I took their initial call-ups, and added 40IPCs worth of soldiers/bases for Argentina (4), 50 to Sweden and Spain (6), and 60 to Turkey (8). I based the units on what such a country would reasonably have. Sweden had advanced industry and an effective navy but hardly any air force in 1940; Spain was along the lines of Italy in land power, Turkey was mostly struggling to modernize but had fortifications and a small but professional british-trained air force (insignificant navy), Argentina had a small army and navy (though far better than its neighbors) and a great port.

    Here are the official rules and set up:

    If you attack a single neutral country, not all of them will become hostile - only ones they have a mutual defense pact with. There are four alliances on the map; an attack against one of these members is an attack on all.

    Mongolia is unaffected by these changes.

    If a territory/alliance is attacked, it will immediately join a specified member of the opposite side.

    Note: Each South American neutral “country” for our purposes has been combined. For example, Venezuela is now a part of Ecuador and Colombia. “Greater Venezuela” does not receive an IPC bonus for this, however it does receive an additional infantry unit per added territory. So instead of spawning +2 infantry when attacked, it will create +4. Same rules apply for Greater Argentina (Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay) and Greater Chile (Chile, Bolivia, Peru).

    Finally, note that Sierra Leone is UK territory and Liberia becomes a US territory once it enters the war. They are not neutral territories.

    Starting Neutral Territory Units:

    South American Alliance:
    Greater Venezuela: 4 Infantry
    Greater Chile: 4 Infantry
    Greater Argentina: 6 Infantry + 3 Artillery +  1 AAA + Naval Base + Destroyer (Sea Zone 85) + Minor IPC

    If attacked by the Allies, the South American Alliance joins Germany. If attacked by the Axis, the South American Alliance joins the US. All of the South American Alliance’s units and factories immediately become controlled by that player. An Axis attack on the South American Alliance is considered a declaration of war against the US. The US may not attack the South American Alliance until war against Axis has been declared.

    Total Alliance IPC Value: 6

    Iberian Alliance:
    Spain: 8 Infantry + 3 Artillery + 2 Tanks + 2 AAA + 1 Fighter + Minor IPC
    Portugal: 2 Infantry
    Mozambique: 2 Infantry
    Angola: 2 Infantry
    Rio de Oro
    Portuguese Guinea

    If attacked by the Allies, the Iberian Alliance joins Germany or Italy. If attacked by the Axis, the Iberian Alliance joins the UK (European Economy) or France. All of its units and factories immediately become controlled by that player. An Axis attack against Spain is considered a declaration of war against the US.

    Total Alliance IPC Value: 5

    Swedish-Swiss Alliance:
    Sweden: 6 Infantry + 4 Artillery + 2 Tanks + 1 Mech Infantry + 2 AAA + Destroyer (Sea Zone 113) + Minor IPC
    Switzerland: 2 Infantry

    If attacked by the Allies, Sweden joins Germany and Switzerland joins Germany or Italy. If attacked by the Axis, Sweden joins the UK (European Economy) and Switzerland joins France. All of their units and factories immediately become controlled by those players. An Axis attack against Sweden or Switzerland is considered a declaration of War against Russia and the US.

    Total IPC Value: 3

    Islamic Alliance:
    Turkey: 9 Infantry + 4 Artillery + 1 Tank + 1 Fighter + 2 AAA + Fortification + Minor IPC
    Saudi Arabia: 2 Infantry
    Afghanistan: 4 Infantry

    If attacked by the Allies, Turkey and Saudi Arabia join Germany or Italy, and Afghanistan joins Germany. If attacked by the Axis, Turkey and Afghanistan join Russia or UK (European Economy), and Saudi Arabia joins the UK (European Economy). All of the Islamic Alliance’s units and factories immediately become controlled by that player. An Axis attack on the Islamic Alliance is the equivalent of a declaration of war on Russia, the UK, ANZAC, and France. Russia may not attack the Islamic Alliance until war against Germany has been declared.

    Additionally, the Bosporus Straight is considered a universal national objective worth an additional +1 IPC to the player controlling it.

    Note: Italian and German national objectives include Saudi Arabia in their quest for Strategic Oil Reserves. If controlled, they gain an additional +2 IPCs such as in Northwest Persia, Iraq, and Persia.

    Total Alliance IPC Value: 5

    Well I love everything about this.  I think the “alliances” make sense and are easy to remember.  It gives both the element of greater standing armies to persuade against the decision to attack and also keeps the element of neighboring retaliation to further the strategic plus and minuses.

    What are people’s current thoughts on this ? Would prefer game experience feedback as opposed to just theory, but all is welcome. 🙂


  • 2019 2018

    Added this as an option to the triplea mod “Charles de Gaulle 1939”.

    I like the sounds of what @piscolar came up with as well. I may take a crack at it. It’s a might more involved from a triplea standpoint though


  • 2019 2018

    Well, after looking at this a bit, I feel that Switzerland should get an Artillery maybe an AAgun. Dock them 2 Infantry. Just would look cooler. South Americans as well. The ones with bigger armies. Won’t matter from a defensive standpoint, well the AA would, but one less reason to mess with the Swiss 🙂


  • 2019 2018

    So gave venezuela, Argentina and Switzerland a Artillery and a AAgun. Docked them 2 Infantry. Gave Chile a Artillery and minus one Infantry. Idk if S Americans had AA are not ? I’d assume so. Switzerland surely did. Well, idk for sure but, it seems incomprehensible that they didn’t. They all had Artillery. Idk about Saudi Arabia. Sure they had some Cavalry 🙂

    Anyway, I Just used edit. Didn’t change the default. Next time you check in @Charles-de-Gaulle let me know what you think and anyone else as well 🙂



  • @barnee The Swiss had tons of anti-aircraft. Even though their air space was neutral the Swiss shot down over 30 aircraft during the war both on the axis and the allies if they drifted too far into Swiss air space. In the game I believe a fair assessment of the Swiss military should be around 7-8 infantry and a AAA .


  • 2019 2018

    @carsonbparker Thanks for the reply. I was just getting ready to look them up 🙂 I used CDGs units, 6 inf, as a base, so they got 4 inf an artillery an a AAgun. I don’t see them getting attacked anyway. I mean it’s not worth anything and doesn’t do anything strategically, so…maybe a couple more infantry 🙂

    It might be a little out of proportion to others though. Looks pretty cool with them 🙂Screenshot from 2019-08-26 13-34-18.png


  • 2019 2018

    well my searching hasn’t turned up much. Questionable information at best 🙂

    @CWO-Marc I know you posted some extensive stuff on Neutrals, which i stupidly didn’t bookmark :), do you have an opinion on the above South American Countries having anti air capabilities ? I can’t believe they didn’t. Well, I can, if given proof ☺


  • 2019 2018

    I have yet to complete a full game, but I don’t see how Italy doesn’t dust UK Egypt. What can UK do ? Hmm…@Charles-de-Gaulle ?

    Sorry i forgot Italy can’t move 🙂


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