A plea for originality in mapmaking…

  • '16

    Ah, I see. Thanks much!

    Those maps are all gorgeous.


  • Der Kuenstler,

    My guess is that most people here want to play A&A (like IL mentioned), not a realistic WW2 game. If you wanted realism, you would have probably already switched to Global War 2nd edition…

    Note that most (all?) of the issues you mention have been fixed on HBG’s “Global War 1936-1939, 2nd edition” map:
    http://www.historicalboardgaming.com/Global-War-1936-1945-Variant-Map_p_2029.html

    Take a look, it’s quite good.

  • Customizer

    On 1914 the borders of Poland and Bulgaria are incorrect, partly because they obviously based the map on Diplomacy rather than a real map of Europe in 1914.

    Moscow being placed in Siberia is another howler from many of the earlier versions; though acceptable for some for game balance reasons. Personally I prefer to play on a map that looks something like the real world, though shrinking and expanding some areas is always needed - the curve of the earth means there is no definitive flat world map in any case. But China on the A&A global board does not bear any close comparison with a real map.

    The Suez mistake was corrected for the 1914 game. But it’s amazing how many amateur map makers treat official A&A as gospel and repeat the same mistakes rather than researching their own history. Just where is Rio de Oro again? When did Brazil declare war?

    I’ve even seen some purported WWII maps include such territories as Bangladesh & Pakistan! FYI New Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of British India in 1911.

    Another thing I dislike is the Gibraltar territory. For the sake of having this in the game as a vital port a ridiculously large “bite” is usually taken out of Spain. I prefer that Gib is considered as a “Treaty Port”; that is the UK/Allies have use of Gibraltar as a port but it is considered part of neutral Spain. In order to attack Gibraltar the Axis have to conquer Spain itself in which case the port becomes Axis controlled as part of that tt.

    Japan attacking Moscow from the east is the single thing that does most to kill the feel of A&A being a WWII game - it sets events in an alternative reality in which Japan risked war with America without securing their backdoor with a Soviet non-aggression pact, and in which Stalin would get involved in fighting Japan before the German war was won. If you want a Pacific war, and Russia having a chance of surviving, then some form of Russo-Japanese pact is a must.


  • @Munck:

    Note that most (all?) of the issues you mention have been fixed on HBG’s “Global War 1936-1939, 2nd edition” map:
    http://www.historicalboardgaming.com/Global-War-1936-1945-Variant-Map_p_2029.html

    There is a lot to like about this map, for sure!


  • @Flashman:

    FYI New Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of British India in 1911.

    I wonder why they kept it as a capital there - maybe so they could keep a victory city on the Pacific side of the map?

    @Flashman:

    Another thing I dislike is the Gibraltar territory. For the sake of having this in the game as a vital port a ridiculously large “bite” is usually taken out of Spain. I prefer that Gib is considered as a “Treaty Port”; that is the UK/Allies have use of Gibraltar as a port but it is considered part of neutral Spain. In order to attack Gibraltar the Axis have to conquer Spain itself in which case the port becomes Axis controlled as part of that tt.

    A mutated Gibraltar has never really bothered me - it is in the right historic spot and its larger size shows its importance and makes it practical for use within the game. It was so well protected that requiring Spain to cooperate in order to get it would probably be a good house rule, though.

    @Flashman:

    Japan attacking Moscow from the east is the single thing that does most to kill the feel of A&A being a WWII game - it sets events in an alternative reality in which Japan risked war with America without securing their backdoor with a Soviet non-aggression pact, and in which Stalin would get involved in fighting Japan before the German war was won. If you want a Pacific war, and Russia having a chance of surviving, then some form of Russo-Japanese pact is a must.

    Yes and double yes! We veteran AA players can all remember attacking Russia with Japan and thinking “Why didn’t Japan do this historically? I must be a genius!” But the real answer is, comparing the actual manpower and equipment of the two nations, and the logistics involved crossing thousands of miles of undeveloped territory to reach Moscow, it was just not possible.


  • @Munck:

    My guess is that most people here want to play A&A (like IL mentioned), not a realistic WW2 game.

    To a certain extent that’s true, in the sense that playing A&A means accepting that the game has a lot of simplifcations, rationalizations, and a few clunky solutions to some WWII elements that are admittedly awkward to model in a board game of A&A’s general type.  That being said, I think a distinction can be made between A&A game elements that require a suspension of disbelief and A&A game elements that (arguably) require a suspension of rational thought…a good exmaple of the latter being the Japanese overland drive towards Moscow that Flashman and D.K. have just commented on.

  • Customizer

    At the other extreme it’s been pointed out that Axis and Allies as a pure “game” could just as easily be played on a chessboard.

    The map is the thing more than anything else that draws me towards a game. If it doesn’t look like a real place I’m not going there. If it shows Vikings with horned helmets it goes straight back on the shelf.


  • @Flashman:

    The map is the thing more than anything else that draws me towards a game. If it doesn’t look like a real place I’m not going there. If it shows Vikings with horned helmets it goes straight back on the shelf.

    Speaking of Vikings and of eyebrow-raising map conventions, have a look at the board for the 2004 game “Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga”

    https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/186332/fire-axe-viking-saga

    Part of the map is fairly realistic, but the parts that depict central and eastern Europe are staggeringly distorted: the rivers in the region are expanded and consolidated into a single waterway that’s wider than the English Channel and that runs nearly all the way from the top of the map to the bottom, with the result that Russia practically becomes a separate continent.  If this board was being used for an A&A game, Germany would have the option of launching two Sea Lion invasions: one against the UK and one against the USSR.


  • Wow that’s crazy - I guess I could get used to it - but it looks like on that map you could sail clear from the Baltic to the Black sea - is that even possible? See I don’t mind distortions for needed space as long as they still respect historical reality.

  • Customizer

    I’ve always wanted a map that had Calais and Normandy with their own space on the board. Close seconds would be Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Germany and the UK broken into more territories. Not to any specific historical boundary due to it being WWII, but so you could do Quasi-Cold War scenarios afterwards.

  • '17 '16

    Is there any kind of A&A map which can help understand the issue of encirclement in Leningrad ?
    And how it was still possible for Soviet to provide food and ammunition to them?


  • @Baron:

    Is there any kind of A&A map which can help understand the issue of encirclement in Leningrad ?
    And how it was still possible for Soviet to provide food and ammunition to them?

    Supplies were brought across frozen Lake Ladoga.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_of_Life

    Nothing happens when you get surrounded in Axis and Allies - perhaps because the territory divisions are so large as to support armies for a long time?


  • @Der:

    Nothing happens when you get surrounded in Axis and Allies - perhaps because the territory divisions are so large as to support armies for a long time?

    A side note: In Global War, 2nd edition, defending Infantry get +1 bonus in cities. That is cancelled out if attackers surround the city. Great concept.

    Oh, and the Viking stuff: Historical evidence have shown they reached the Black Sea. They could transport their ships on timber between the rivers. Quite clever :-)


  • @Munck:

    A side note: In Global War, 2nd edition, defending Infantry get +1 bonus in cities. That is cancelled out if attackers surround the city. Great concept.

    Are you sure about this? An HBG global rule perhaps?

    Interesting info on the Vikings!


  • From the rulebook section 1.7 on page 9:

    Cities afford Defending infantry-class units +1 Defense on all rounds of combat and target selection “1” for armor-class units. A city that is completely surrounded by Enemy units conveys a -1 to all Defending units on all rounds of combat.


  • OK HBG global - I see it now…

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