• How does this influence the game? And is it recommended that you play with or without this optional rule or not? Me and my friend have played the game 3 times now and have played with the canal closed, but we are quite uncertain what kind of consequences it has on the game.

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    I would insist that it be closed. It is an advantage for Germny and the Axis have enough advantages in this game.

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    I personally like to keep it opened.  it’s true it gives Axis some initial advantage but IMHO it adds more possibility and depth on how Axis and Allies would take advantage of this possibility.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    In case this is useful as background: in real life, transit of warships through the Bosporus Straits and the Dardanelles has been regulated since 1936 by the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits.  In brief, the convention treats this straight more or less as international waters in peacetime, but not necessarily in wartime.  During most of WWII (up until the point where it joined the Allies), Turkey closed the straight to the ships of belligerent nations.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    It’s chief effect in gameplay terms is to make it harder for the Axis to build/support a med fleet in the deep endgame. Particularly in cases where Japan manages to take the Caucasus, or has parked a fleet in the Med, since they don’t have the black sea safe zone to build. This is the kind of thing that usually doesn’t become a factor until Moscow has fallen. In rarer instances it prevents the Allies from dropping on Ukraine/Caucasus (again usually after Moscow has fallen) in an attempt to sneak in a wedge, or see the formerly Soviet territory come under Western control.

    In the opening rounds it prevents Germany from making amphibious drops into Ukraine, or attacking Caucasus directly, which in turn means that the Russians don’t have to defend it quite so heavily.

    I think for game balance it’s probably better closed, though most players I’ve gamed with seem to leave it open. Whether you play Open or Closed, or with interceptors on, is something that should be determined before bidding for Allies, since it can have an effect on how the Russians open (e.g. how much emphasis they need to put on a Ukraine opener.) The Ukraine strafe/take by the Soviets is much more attractive, if there is no threat posed by the German transport in the med.

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