Modifying the A&A Global 1940 Map


  • 2016

    I recently attended the Battle of Tennessee IV, held by the Nashville Axis & Allies Meetup the weekend of March 3. As usual, I had a terrific time.

    On the final evening, I had the opportunity to set up a 1939 start using some after-market pieces and a friend’s board. Note that he has traced the borders of each territory and sea zone with silver marker to ensure that they stand out. You can view the results for the European Theater here, and for the Pacific Theater here.

    This was strictly an experiment to determine whether the out-of-box board is of a size suitable for modified play. My sense is that the out-of-box board is indeed suitable. Based on this conclusion, I will probably try to have an enlarged paper version of one of Cyanight’s maps printed out, reducing congestion considerably.

    Some thoughts that may be of interest:

    • I am thinking of adding a number of sea zones to the map. In Europe, I plan to further divide Sea Zone 94 (dividing the Western Mediterranean), Sea Zone 100 (bisecting the Black Sea), and Sea Zone 97 (separating the Ionian and the Adriatic Seas), and Sea Zone 114 (North and South Baltic). In the Pacific, I think there ought to be a division of Sea Zone 37 to depict the Gulf of Siam. I’d also like to see Sea Zone 35 divided so that the Philippines are bisected by two different zones, but the island chain itself is so small that this may not be worthwhile. More important will be dividing Sea Zone 80 so that the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea are two different waterways. I will also delineate the Gulf of Aden inside its own Sea Zone.

    • I have all the appropriate colors and roundels to flesh out the Neutrals and additional minors. The limited number of new pieces on display in these pictures is just a reflection of the fact that the lion’s share of my pieces are in storage pending a move to a new city.

    • Our gaming group traditionally takes few actions in the Baltic, the Middle East, and South America. Adding an Iberian power was one way to counteract that tendency.

    • It was realized that the Far East Command and Dutch ought to go first, followed by Germany, in order to prevent the “blobbing” of naval units by the British in the Atlantic.

    • The Dutch begin as True Neutrals. They cannot be attacked by the Allies, and default to that alliance bloc if attacked by the Axis. The Dutch may not declare war on the Japanese until war has been declared upon them first or the Japanese enter a Sea Zone adjacent to a Dutch possession.

    • The Grafton Axis & Allies Group has incorporated a rule for entrenchment whereby each player may put down a number of entrenchment tokens each turn. These tokens may be taken as casualties and represent the efforts of particular army commands to “dig in.” I like the idea, and am inclined to use it.

    • I will probably use a d12 system for dice. We were inspired to try out a system based on block war games that allows certain types of units to attack and inflict casualties before others.

    • I wanted to add a Naval Search mechanic that involves rolling dice to determine whether two naval or air units in the same Sea Zone actually manage to locate one another. Benefits would be provided if a side includes aircraft. It was pointed out to me that this was inconsistent with the duration of time represented by each turn, and I acknowledged that, although it is of only minor concern to me.

    • Cruisers will receive a roll against aircraft on a 1:1 basis to simulate their value as AA platforms.

    • I am inspired to use General Hand Grenade’s rule for spies, but only with respect to the ability to move one unit its full movement potential prior to the round starting, representing the input of signals intelligence.

    • I am considering the addition of Armored Car, Cavalry, Torpedo-Boat Destroyer, and Transport Plane units, as well as Paratroopers. The Armored Car would allow a player to reroll a die during combat (simulating reconnaissance). Cavalry may gain a bonus if they attack infantry only. Torpedo-Boat Destroyers are effectively a 1/1/1 piece that may select casualties against other naval units but may not enter an open sea zone. Transport planes can deposit airborne infantry at any point on their route. They have the same range as bombers but are cheaper.

    • Added a Home Guard/Territorials rule that requires all units entering an undefended enemy territory to roll a die. If it is a 1, the attacker must select one casualty. If the attacker has only one piece, the defender retains the territory after casualties are assigned.

    I welcome further questions.


  • 2017 2016

    WOW!
    Pretty ambitious project.
    Messing around SZ, I wonder if an M3 Cruiser and TP might not help increasing a bit the pace of action.


  • 2017

    Hi Matt,

    Our meetup was a lot of fun…really enjoyed the guessing game we played in the evenings.

    Pretty ambitious project your taking on. I suggest titleling your setup 1938 or whatever the date is when Russia didn’t yet have control of the Baltic states or make it August 1939 and readjust. 1938 would be unique. �

    It will be tough to find out the right balance to ensure a fair game for both sides. I think Germany may have been too beefed up. I advise looking at the G40 setup for all nations, then scaling a little bit back (as Germany was less powerful in early 1939 then they were in say May of 1940). Since Germany has to attack more places, I think the balance works itself out. Do reposition the units to coincide with your scenario a little more I think. For Germany, to me, that means, enough forces within range of Poland and forces along the border of France and Netherlands whereas I saw the layout of the units too evenly distributed throughout German territory.

    For whatever additional units are added to an axis power or pro-axis power (Spain), then, on the other side match the same value (like the Netherlands concept) with a similar minor power. If Poland is a country, make Finland a separate country with similar amounts of units. For either of them (in keeping the pro-axis or pro-allies neutral OOB concept), perhaps once all of their territories are occupied they could never be a “minor” power again?

    I suggest reading a little bit about the Ribbentrop - Molotov Non-aggression Pact and the Soviet / Finnish War of 1939-1940. Conclusion would be a special political game clause where if/when Germany declares war on Poland, Russia could then DOW on Baltic States, East Poland, and Finland (but only be able to seize Vyborg and Karelia) I know the map isn’t perfect. A small section of Karelia on the map was actually part of Finland and most of the Vyborg region was Finnish with only sliver in the northeast of Vyborg being Soviet territory. Once Russia takes those 3-4 territories they could get a small reward like a National Objective of only 2 IPCs. But if Russia were to DOW on those territories before Germany took Poland, then Russia wouldn’t get the bonus. Once Germany and Russia were then at war, that small bonus would go away and the NO would go back to the Out of Box (OOB) normal National Objectives for Russia.

    I remember you were trying to find a way to bring Spain into the fold. I like that idea as supposedly Franco was thinking about it. He did send the Spanish “Blue” Division to the Eastern Front. Keep in mind the allies’ advantages of executing the Spanish Beachhead. Normally they get the disadvantage of all of the other neutrals switching to pro-axis if the US attacks Spain. So, perhaps, add a rule where once Spain and say 1 South American territory is taken, then only Turkey joins the war instead of all neutrals becoming pro-axis. With Spain in the game, then by default the US may have to attack them. But maybe Turkey could be beefed up a little with maybe 2 AAA guns since now all neutrals wouldn’t automatically become pro-axis.

    Also, since Spain starts out with other stuff on the board (which is more than the 6 infantry), maybe Spanish producing capabilities could be diminished. Perhaps they don’t have an industrial complex on the board (which means the US would have to buy one). Think of how China doesn’t have an IC and is only limited to purchasing infantry and artillery. Maybe since Spain didn’t have a strong military and it’s industry/infrastructure was devastated due to their Civil War, they could be limited to purchasing say only 6 units anywhere on the board and limited to tac bombers, fighters, destroyers, transports, mech infantry, infantry, and artillery. Something like that. No subs…but could start the game with maybe 1 battleships or a combination of some cruisers and other ships that you placed on the board. I like how you gave them some of the South American territories as being colonies to add to their economy ect. Perhaps also a rule that if Spain is taken, but not the South American territories (then they could still continue to produce units) after of course the treasury was taken from Madrid. This helps to ensure the US can’t just ignore them. Again, you may want to re-think giving the US a free IC South America.

    Good luck!

    David
    “Ichabod”


  • 2017 2016 2015

    Some cool stuff Trenacker.  🙂
    I thought it’d be cool to split the Med too. I don’t like how Gib, S France and Egypt can control each other. I was gonna split 96sz. That way you can’t make it to Egypt in one turn from S France.


  • 2017

    @Trenacker:

    • I am thinking of adding a number of sea zones to the map. In Europe, I plan to further divide Sea Zone 94 (dividing the Western Mediterranean), Sea Zone 100 (bisecting the Black Sea), and Sea Zone 97 (separating the Ionian and the Adriatic Seas), and Sea Zone 114 (North and South Baltic). In the Pacific, I think there ought to be a division of Sea Zone 37 to depict the Gulf of Siam. I’d also like to see Sea Zone 35 divided so that the Philippines are bisected by two different zones, but the island chain itself is so small that this may not be worthwhile. More important will be dividing Sea Zone 80 so that the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea are two different waterways. I will also delineate the Gulf of Aden inside its own Sea Zone.

    I welcome further questions.

    Some more things to consider as you develop your board and scenario…

    I like how your adding more sea zones to the Mediterranean. It might make “playing the med” more fun and interesting; especially making it one space longer to go from Gibraltar/S. France to Cairo in one turn. Perhaps re-draw Sea Zone 96 instead of 94. Let the ships go as far as Alexandria or Tobruk?

    Regarding SZ 97, I don’t think you should split the sea zones for gamism reasons. That would take away another ability for Germany to help their junior partner play the med. Yugo and Greece sharing SZ 97 permits Germany the ability to purchase an airbase in either territory to add additional scramble cover for an Italian navy struggling. It also permits Germany a chance to buy an IC and launch boats into a sea zone with a pre-existing air base (s. Italy). It’s hard enough as it is for Germany to play the med and any expenditures there usually mean a safer Russia.

    If you separate SZ 80, I suggest the zone line permit ships in the Arabian sea land on e. Persia.

    SZ 100, I think against separating it as the benefits of building an IC in Romania and launching boats area already not really worth it. Rarely as it is already do people ever try to launch boats there. An extra sea zone would make it even less likely to occur. Germany has to buy at least one surface warship and an airbase to protect transports there. In a 2 sea zone map, if they moved to unload on Caucasus, then they’d be exposed.


  • 2016

    @Ichabod:

    Pretty ambitious project your taking on. I suggest titling your setup 1938 or whatever the date is when Russia didn’t yet have control of the Baltic states or make it August 1939 and readjust. 1938 would be unique.

    Since the map is based on an alternate history premise, it isn’t technically a 1938 setup in the same sense that other folks have produced a 1941 or 1942 setup.

    @Ichabod:

    It will be tough to find out the right balance to ensure a fair game for both sides. I think Germany may have been too beefed up. I advise looking at the G40 setup for all nations, then scaling a little bit back (as Germany was less powerful in early 1939 then they were in say May of 1940). Since Germany has to attack more places, I think the balance works itself out. Do reposition the units to coincide with your scenario a little more I think. For Germany, to me, that means, enough forces within range of Poland and forces along the border of France and Netherlands whereas I saw the layout of the units too evenly distributed throughout German territory.

    I based Germany on the original G40 set-up, but clustered units from areas they had not yet conquered. Consider that I also considerably enhanced the Royal Navy, the French defenses, and the Dutch while making the Italians weaker on the land side of things. The Germans also need to spend time conquering Poland.

    I’m completely open, at this point, to altering distribution of units within the German territories at game start.

    @Ichabod:

    For whatever additional units are added to an axis power or pro-axis power (Spain), then, on the other side match the same value (like the Netherlands concept) with a similar minor power. If Poland is a country, make Finland a separate country with similar amounts of units. For either of them (in keeping the pro-axis or pro-allies neutral OOB concept), perhaps once all of their territories are occupied they could never be a “minor” power again?

    The Allies will pick up Greece and the Netherlands. I may add a Karelian Union – basically, Sweden, Finland, and the Baltics. I will balance the neutrals once I’ve figured out the new minors.

    @Ichabod:

    I like how your adding more sea zones to the Mediterranean. It might make “playing the med” more fun and interesting; especially making it one space longer to go from Gibraltar/S. France to Cairo in one turn. Perhaps re-draw Sea Zone 96 instead of 94. Let the ships go as far as Alexandria or Tobruk?

    Yes, I can see the value of splitting Sea Zone 96. I’ll incorporate that change.

    @Ichabod:

    Regarding SZ 97, I don’t think you should split the sea zones for gamism reasons. That would take away another ability for Germany to help their junior partner play the med. Yugo and Greece sharing SZ 97 permits Germany the ability to purchase an airbase in either territory to add additional scramble cover for an Italian navy struggling. It also permits Germany a chance to buy an IC and launch boats into a sea zone with a pre-existing air base (s. Italy). It’s hard enough as it is for Germany to play the med and any expenditures there usually mean a safer Russia.

    Depending on how the alternate history shakes out, I may add Austria-Hungary back into the mix. Probably Poland will be turned into a fascist nation in its own right, serving as a kind of rampart for the Germans. But I plan to sub-divide Yugoslavia either way, so the damage to Germany’s power projection is already done.

    @Ichabod:

    If you separate SZ 80, I suggest the zone line permit ships in the Arabian sea land on e. Persia.

    Why do you favor that approach?

    @Ichabod:

    SZ 100, I think against separating it as the benefits of building an IC in Romania and launching boats area already not really worth it. Rarely as it is already do people ever try to launch boats there. An extra sea zone would make it even less likely to occur. Germany has to buy at least one surface warship and an airbase to protect transports there. In a 2 sea zone map, if they moved to unload on Caucasus, then they’d be exposed.

    I’m thinking of adding Greece as another minor power once I can mark up a version of the map.

    I am going to try to get a version of the map from Cyanight that I can print at unusually large dimensions. That will give me space to subdivide territories without worrying about trying to cram units in.

    @barney:

    I thought it’d be cool to split the Med too. I don’t like how Gib, S France and Egypt can control each other. I was gonna split 96sz. That way you can’t make it to Egypt in one turn from S France.

    I like it.


  • 2016

    All right. So, I grabbed a copy of Historical Board Gaming’s Global War 1914 map and used my very minimal artistic skills in MS Paint to begin preparing a modified board for play.

    It can be found here.

    The map isn’t yet finished. The IPCs are incorrect for most powers, many roundels must be changed, and I haven’t gotten around to filling in the correct colors for even half the powers in play. I wanted to share to stimulate interest.

    The idea is a 1936 or '38 game start subject to an alternate history in which the Great War ended in a negotiated peace (credit to Avalanche Press). This outcome significantly blunts the impact of the Great Depression, especially outside the United States. It also leads to an arms race that, by the late 1930s, is threatening to spiral into another world war.

    Right now, the scenario for game start is this: The Poles and the Swedes have been skirmishing along their Baltic border. A recent intensification of fighting has led the Soviet Union to begin an invasion of the Baltic states, provoking Germany and Austria-Hungary to declare war out of fear that, in future, the European balance of power can only tilt to their disadvantage.

    What is chiefly missing, I think, is somebody with the skill to produce a superior map. I’ve fumbled about, but MS Word had trouble translating the original .jpeg file into flat colors, meaning that I couldn’t use the “fill” function. I was also unable to separate the map into what I assume are the layers that house different assets, like the roundels. And, of course, there is no option to make anything transparent. In short, I had to paint each change by hand, which I am sure will translate to a fantastic pig’s breakfast if ever I try to print this map.

    My goal is to have a test map printed in very large scale ahead of NashCon in early June. I will bring the map, along with a set-up that I am preparing. I have got the economics figured using real-world 1938 data.

    This leads to some very interesting revelations of which I doubt most people are aware, including the following:

    • Virtually none of Italy’s wealth during this period was from her colonies. I was forced to add an IPC to discourage whole-sale abandonment of Africa, although I suppose that’s all right, as a shorter war would have preserved some of her blood and treasure despite the loss of Venetia.

    • Even after adjusting for war spoils, Bulgaria’s total national value should have been 2. I added an IPC so that Thrace is strategically valuable.

    • Greek victory in the Greco-Turkish War is pie-in-the-sky to begin with, and the cost of rebuilding a depopulated Ionia and Colchis are more than the Greek economy can bear. The point of the Greek nation is to add a bit of flavor and pull attention to areas of the map that are often no more than a crossroads for our gaming group. I don’t expect the Greeks to last long against predation.

    • The Netherlands had world-class industry during this time, including ship-building capability, but chose not to employ it. The Dutch East Indies were probably the most lucrative colony in the world, providing nearly twice as much output as the metropole itself. Combining the Dutch with the Belgians turns the Netherlands into a power stronger than Italy, though vastly more vulnerable. The Dutch generate the equivalent of 28 IPC’s in this game.

    • The Japanese Home Islands and all the Empire’s possessions in 1938 were worth a good deal less in terms of national income than the combined British and Empire presence east of Suez (converting their national incomes from the period yields 35 IPC’s versus 49 IPC’s). That said, the Japanese were producing more in terms of finished goods.

    • The Soviet Union is an industrial power house by 1938, with 57 worth of income before we calculate the negligible loss to White rebels (who, in this timeline, are still kicking). For comparison, with her whole empire accounted for, France totals only 37.


  • 2017 2016 2015

    Sounds pretty cool. Is the Avalanche Press a reference to a Alternate History book ?


  • 2016

    Avalanche Press is a hex-and-counter wargame company with an alternate history property that deals with a Second World War set after an early peace in 1916.

    The president of the company, Dr. Mike Bennighof, posts some intriguing stuff in their Daily Content session.

    My history also borrows from a story called Cherry Trees Spared, about a scotched Washington Naval Treaty.


  • 2017 2016 2015

    Right on Trenacker ! I’m gonna check it out. Big fan of “what if”  🙂



  • JAPAN needs to be split into 3 territories… by major island, Kyushu (South), Honshu (Center), Hokkaido (North).
    IPC values of 2, 5, 1.  PLUS divide SZ6 into 2; an East and West sea zones.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I kinda looked into this recently. The reason is its the only part of the map that has significant separate land masses and they are not separate. the southern island would be 2 , the center 6 and the north should be separate, but zero. The north island is basically worthless from an industry standpoint. I would like to see the Maldives added to the map as well


  • 2016

    In this game, Japan and its possessions are worth 35 IPC at game start. As with Italy, its colonies at this time contributed virtually nothing to its national income.

    I had planned to distribute Home Islands income (25 IPC) thusly: Kyushu-Shikoku, 7; Honshu, 14; Hokkaido, 4. I’m open to suggestions that the ratio be altered for accuracy.

    In terms of Japan’s colonial possessions, Northern Korea, Jehol, and Kiangsi are worth 1, Manchuria is worth 3, and Shantung and Kiangsu are both worth 2.

    The Maldives are on the map and will remain.


  • 2016

    The map is still a mess. MS Paint’s paintbrush option doesn’t appear to lay an even coat, so I can’t auto-fill within national borders, meaning that each country must be painted by hand. I’m trying to figure out if it would be wise to invest in a WaCom tablet for this kind of work and would greatly appreciate any suggestions from some of the community’s seasoned mapmakers.

    I’ve calculated income (IPC values) for all the major and minor powers in the game at this point, so let’s shift gears tonight and take a look at how that breaks down, with some additional points of interest for each country. Here’s an early (albeit incomplete) preview.

    Allied Powers

    United Kingdom & Dominions: 54

    Representing His Majesty’s possessions and Commonwealth allies west of Suez. The U.K. starts with sevenof the Empire’s eight battleships in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and one of its two battlecruisers. The British also field a pair of fleet carriers, divided between either station.

    British Far East Command: 50

    All British Empire forces east of Suez, inclusive of Australia and New Zealand. There are 10 INF in greater India alone, and another 4 in Malaya or on Singapore at game start. By contrast, Australia and New Zealand are virtually defenseless. A battleship, battlecruiser, cruiser, and two destroyers comprise the Royal Navy presence here.

    France: 37

    France is a going concern in this game, with powerful armies concentrated along the Maginot Line, the Alpine Line on the Franco-Italian border, and in North Africa. The French Indochina garrison is also formidable, with 1 INF, 1 ARTY, and 1 FTR. Powerful squadrons of the French Navy, including 2 BB and 1 BC, are at Toulon and Mers el-Kébir. A cruiser lays at anchor off Indochina. A troop transport in the Indian Ocean carries 1 additional INF and 1 AAA.

    United States of America: 130

    The wealthiest nation on Earth, but humbled by the Depression. The United States Navy counts ten battleships and one fleet carrier.

    Pro-Allied Minors

    United Netherlands: 28

    Anticipating war with Japan rather than Germany, the Dutch spent heavily on air and naval defenses in the Indies, where a BC and a SUB patrol, backed by a TAC. At game start, a Dutch FTR on Java is the closest possible air cover available for Malaya. A modest increase to the army began more recently, but there can be no illusions about what will happen if Europe falls into another war.

    Communist Powers

    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: 57

    An industrial behemoth, the Soviets are arrayed against the Germans in the west and the Japanese in the Far East. The massive Red Army fields 24 infantry in total.

    Axis Powers

    Japan: 35

    In terms of capital ships, the Japanese operate three BB and one BC, as well as two fleet carriers.

    Italy: 22

    Still smarting over the abandonment of her Entente partners in the last war, Italy has renewed its membership in the Triple Alliance. The Italian army in North Africa, amounting to 2 INF, 1 ARTY, 1 armored car (AC), and 1 ARM, is a significant threat to French possessions there. The Italian Navy includes 1 BB and 1 fleet carrier. Italy’s mobilization factor of 11 INF is high for a country of her size; by way of comparison, the British Far East Command fields 17 INF at game start, spread across a far wider operational area.

    Pro-Allied Minors

    Polish Commonwealth: 11

    In this timeline, a client state of Germany. Considering the weight of Soviet metal arrayed on its eastern border, the Poles are likely to serve as the doormat over which its neighbors stomp with reckless abandon.

    Siam 2

    A client state of Japan. Poised to invade French Indochina at game start with a formidable army of 3 INF, 1 ARM, and 1 FTR. The Siamese navy is a destroyer, standing in for the pair of coast defense ships it operated historically.


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