WAR ROOM - New Larry Harris Game

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

    Thanks Lozmoid.
    Not talked in a while. I hope all is well.

  • Well, after test-playing War Room with Larry Harris and Tom I believe they are really onto something special here my fellow gamers! There are such neat little tidbits to this game I am so excited about playing it again! The simultaneous movement fixes the griping about waiting a while for your turn to come around. The turn order is random unless of course you bid oil which is the most precious of them all. Everyone bids if they want and who bids the most goes first and on down the line. Whomever doesn’t bid they are pulled at random to finish out the turn order. Then comes writing your orders down secretly with your partners and then whomever goes first like Germany, they hand over their clipboard and the enemy reads off your 9 moves in order. Any conflicting orders cancel movement of the stack or single unit. Then the next and so on until all orders are revealed and moved. Then it goes back to Germany to pick the battles in any order he wishes. The battles are really cool due to the fact that there is only 1 round of combat and if the area is left ‘embattled’ the original owner gets reduced production from the area. Battles always start out with air-to-air first if needed, then the person who has the most planes ‘pins’ the lesser players planes and then the player with the bigger air force in the area can either go all in against his opponents air force trying to destroy them or go in to strategic and bomb ground units. Then each player chooses an offensive or defensive stance for each ground unit and them roll a 12 sided die for each piece. No matter how much you have the max you can roll is 30 dice. The dice have colors on them to show what you can hit like yellow is infantry, blue is artillery, green is armor, red is strat bombers and green are fighters. The dice have 4 yellow spots, 3 blue spots, 2 green spots, 1 black spot, 1 white spot and 1 red spot on them. The black roll is a wild card roll. If you have air supremacy it can hit any ground unit and the white roll you can only hit a unit that is damaged and move it to the dead pile. If you roll 4 yellow dice depending on what stance your opponent took you move 1 infantry unit over to damaged in defensive mode or if he was in offensive mode one hit means he goes to the eliminated pile and so on. After the Battle is over if you have damaged units you can spend some of your resources to refit and repair them and ready for the next move. There are convoy zones to hit, and naval battles to fight too! The yellow spots on the die are for submarines, blue for cruisers, green for aircraft carriers and red for battleships. If you go into any battle and you don’t have combined arms the player that has units firing and you don’t of any class then they roll 1 more die for each unit they have. But you have to have no units against them for this advantage like the attacker has artillery and you don’t. The resource areas of the Middle East and Romania and Southern Russia become focal points due to the precious oil now. Everything you build costs at least 1 oil to build except infantry. Each turn has its steps and here they are, 1. Direct National Economy 2. Strategic Planning 3. Movement Operations 4. Combat Operations in stages like set-up on the battle board, the Battle, Raids as Strategic bombing or convoys or starting which can depend on what you roll? Even damaging things being built or infrastructure or units in the area. Really cool hitting and destroying ships being built and placed at the start of the turn or hitting the natural resources of the territory you hit. Then battle debrief which means refit and repairs,  assigning stress and medals, stress in this game stands for morale loss for losing a capital ship or losing important territories, invading neutrals and such. Medals are assigned to the country who caused the stress or morale. Check for lost troop transports which means if you were trying amphibious invasion and lost the sea battle and only have loaded transports they were sunk and lost so be overly protective! Exchange territory card if you won the Battle Place your countries marker to claim your prize! Each battle is marked by a ‘hot-spot’ marker and if the area is still occupied then the marker is flipped over to the embattled side or removed if one side eliminated. 5a. Land planes b. Deploy units that were being built that turn that weren’t lost due to bombing or loss of battle. C. Rearrange command tokens which means each stack or a lone unit will have a command token with a number on it. When you write your orders like 72 token moves from b-3 to b-4 or so on. In the rearrange tokens you can combine units or switch numbers as long as you don’t go over 8 blocks or units under each command token including air! 6. Morale check. The medals you obtain relieve stress which contributes to low morale. Each stress token earned during the turn will cost that country a resource for each stress token removed! 5 civilian resources or 1 medal reduces the stress track by 1. There are levels of stress zone penalties which are as follows, white zone-no penalty, blue threshold-Civil unrest which means you lose resources of your choice up to the value of your capital, yellow zone which means disrupted supply lines and this will cost you 3 of your 9 moves down to only 6 moves each turn till you fix the stress. The orange zone means dysfunctional rails and ports which means that all ports and rails are unusable to you and your allies including captured territories! Red zone means economic collapse which means NO new resources are added to your track until resolved. Gray zone means Mass Desertion which means for every stress token accumulated the controlling player eliminates 1 unit of his choice! 7. Production which means add your current resources to your resource board. You can trade with neutrals that you are physically next to. Purchase units, reveal production and update your resource board. Then transfer new units to industries on the board. Each area that has a factory on it can only produce as many units as the factory has smokestack. When placed in the production areas, yes, even embattled areas put a production marker on top of them and they won’t be deployed until step refit and deploy next turn. And also repair infrastructure during this step too. The game is playable by 2 to 6 players which control the Axis (Germany, Italy, Japan) and the Allies (United States, British Commonwealth, and USSR). The victory conditions are as follows; the Axis must capture 2 of the Allied capitals and the Allies capture Greater Germany and Japan. There are also smaller scenarios for groups that don’t have the time for the full campaign as just Europe, Pacific, Eastern Front. There are also optional rules when players get better acquainted with the basic game. In case you haven’t seen the board it is round and it is looking down from the north Pole in the middle where the turn order and stress markers are kept. My opinion is that all of us will still play Axis and Allies but everyone SHOULD give this game a try as I can’t wait to play it again! Next play-test of War Room will be Sunday, September. 10th at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. Can’t wait! This is the total game for gamers who like chits or figures! It has everything that some of us have complained about for years! Larry said that he has been developing and fine tuning this game for 5 years and it shows my fellow A & A’ers! It is nicely polished! A must-buy on Kickstarter in the fall! There is so much I didn’t cover so if there are any questions please ask? Thanks!

  • The War Room WWII Strategic Game

    Hi, my name is Joe and just joined the main play test group for the new game “The War Room” designed by Larry Harris. The game is great fun to play and already would with a choice of playing a Axis & Allied Game or The War Room Game I would pick the War Room, but I do not loose any of my love for A & A games. The War Room Game is slightly more complicated than a A & A Game but in the same ball park and if you can play a A & A game you would have no problem playing The War Room Game! Below will be paragraphs on different parts of the game.

    The game is a great land territory and sea zone strategic level game that basically dose set you up in the historical strategic positing that all the major WWII powers were in at the start of the spring of 1942. Then lets see how good you can do! The economic system is great using major strategic resources of Oil, Iron and Other Resources in different amounts of different types to build the game combat units called tokens, etc… This is all kept track by a simple peg board system and obtaining the resources from simple card system with cards representing each land territory controlled by a power. No complicated charts here!

    The Plastic Combat Tokens are great in the game squares for Army, circles for Air Force and ovals for Naval with pictures each type of combat unit on it and each a different color from the other. The same 3 colors used for each Army and Naval and 2 of the colors for Air Force. The play test games tokens only have the combat units pictures on the top with the game production units will also have them on the sides of the tokens so when you look at the stacks you will see what type combat unit it is along with its own color. With the games system of using stacks of combat tokens to move around and conduct combat with, it would be impossible to use A & A type plastic combat units. Just would not work!

    Strategic Planning in the game is like all the players of one side being a GHQ and planning the over all strategic planing for that turn in the game then all the players go off and become basically the field commanders of Armies, Navies and Air Forces using a very simple planning sheet with simple commands to try and reach the set up strategic goals of their side. Then there is a simple way of determining the order of combat movement which is different almost every round of play in the game which leads to a joint combat of all nations attacking the other side in a game. The combat movement system in the game with what is call pinning or other option canceling commands really sets up as though a large WWII battle going on and movement of the enemy caused a combat plan to be dropped or to be only partially successful which then leaves your side then having to work out a strategy to the new strategic situation or your side ended up doing this to the other. This is all done without complicated charts and die roll modifiers with the game mechanics just simply stepping you through it. Just can say one word - Great!

    When it comes to combat the d12 die combat system works by using a color system with odds that yellow colored tokens would be hit the most followed by blue then red the least which totally makes sense by which type units are what colored tokens instead of using numbers with calculations. It is great works the same as using numbers with the same odds but is much easer and faster to use. Then you use a combat card called a Battle Status Board that you place Combat Tokens on that just by simply following the combat rules per dice rolled steps you through damage losses with at the end of combat possible repairs or possible losses. All of this achieved without having to use charts and die roll modifiers but coming up with basically the same results. Just can say one word - Great!

    Strategic Bombing rules are great when you strategic bomb you actually take out Army, Navy and Airforce Combat Tokens being built or in the case of Infantry Tokens being formed. This now puts you into planning what you would like to strategic bomb to hurt the enemy at what he is hurting you with and working on taking out those Combat Tokens that are causing your side problems so they do not reach the front line. All units being built at Land Territories with Factories start Combat Token Production that remains under production for a game turn always leaving it vulnerable to being strategically bombed. To myself it is the best Strategic Bombing System I have ever used in a Land Territory / Sea Zone type game.

    I could go on but have only play tested this Great game that Larry Harris has designed once and need to play more and will update all later with more what I believe will be more great descriptions of a great game.

    I am a avid A & A war game player but play many other types of war games other more complicated area plus hex games with counters with the ones being counters with pictures on them that I like best and dabble in miniature war games at times. The War Room Game is a game where A & A War Game Players can meet all of those Grognard War Game Players that do not play A & A type games and duke it out and have fun! To the Grognard War Game Players - the standard game has enough in it historically to add with the great game mechanics that I assure you you will enjoy this game! Plus it will set you up for future expansion modules for the game which will bring in even more history with just more easy rules without all those charts and die roll modifiers with basically the same results faster and easier.


  • Sponsor

    Fantastic comments guys, a great read for sure… much appreciated.

  • '17 '16

    While I appreciate the effort, the Wall of Text from Gen Nehring hurt my eyes and became so difficult to read, I gave up (no offense).

    Joseph Churma’s feedback was the first details I read on the War Room that gave me a solid understanding of what the game is about (or what I should expect from it).

  • Oooops sorry. Was not paying attention. I was so excited about the game!                      ! But I can tell you with confidence and experience that this is a very different game and most games will enjoy this game for many years to come!

  • '17 '16


    Oooops sorry. Was not paying attention. I was so excited about the game! But I can tell you with confidence and experience that this is a very different game and most games will enjoy this game for many years to come!

    Hey, no problem… you don’t have to be a master of the English language to remember that the ENTER/RETURN key is on your keyboard for a reason… just randomly hit that from time to time while typing! 😉

  • '17

    After watching YG’s video on the game; I have to say I’m a little disappointed on the hype. I think for a chit/block game, I’ll stick to Settlers of Catan. I think I might be open to a round board if it was a little larger, the only problem is that most tables are rectangular in shape, so I’m not sure what size.

    Also, I think I’d rather have tiny miniatures or switch to the more complex HBG G36/39 board game first.

    If not miniatures, than the military background in me would need actual real world military symbols and graphics with size and capability data; not a block that says the Italian Army is 38 or 173.

    Picture below for what I mean by real military symbols.

    Basic Guide to Mil Unit Symbols.jpg

  • Sponsor

    The more I learn about this game, the more I get excited… there are mechanics here that many of us have been asking for in axis and allies games. The combat has elements that I’ve always thought could work in a WW2 strategy game like offensive and defensive stances for all ground units, and an air supremacy battle first between all air units before they attack ground units in a secondary land battle. I honestly think that War Room will fall on the right side of fun for those that have the open mind to try something new and different.

  • '17

    War Room will probably be a fun game for many. Also, there are many other games out there that are fun but don’t get the time of day. I’ve recently searched for axis and allies mechanics style games from different times in history like the Napoleonic era. I’m certain they are really good too. If Larry Harris’ name was attached to say the better one in that historical genre, then there would be a discussion forum for it.

    We’ll have to see. It will be interesting to see if War Room develops HALF the magic and following that G40 has. The fact that Larry Harris’ name is attached to it is THE most important promotional factor.

    I went to the website and saw the turn order ect., which sounds like a axis and allies game. It appears like the game is trying to make it more “adult” like and from the highest strategic level perspective; whereas I still like my tiny little Soldiers and toy tanks! However, if it’s to be more “adult” like, than I wish real world military graphics and symbols with capabilities were used instead of chits and blocks. Really, for a military themed game they could not get the military symbols and graphics from WW2.

    In the Army we have our war game simulators too. It’s fun for me! Symbols with military capabilities like the strength and Operational Readiness (OR) rates of equipment, and the unit level like a division, brigade…ect. go into simulator exercises. I hope companies like General Dynamics or ex-military personnel were contacted or asked for input. Gen Dynamics is a private sector company that is often contracted by the US military to setup and run simulated war games.

  • '17


    I honestly think that War Room will fall on the right side of fun for those that have the open mind to try something new and different.

    You’re right, an open mind will be required to try something new.

  • '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    I agree Ich with your comment on symbols and yes i like my lil guys and ships. But I would believe Larry wanted to stay away from axis and allies game symbols.

    But yes I would of like the symbols with a pic of piece and ID letters.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Once this game comes out, somebody should redo all the army numbers and add nation specific unit icons and colors. I can’t believe they don’t have any desire to make this basic aesthetic, and essentially went backwards to the Milton Bradley days when units were all the same and had no characteristics of the nations they represent.

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

    Formal military symbols for unit types and sizes are the correct thing to use for professional military wargaming, in which the participants are military personnel who are throughly familiar with that iconography.  In hobby wargaming, formal military symbols are probably not a problem for harcore wargamers (who may in fact actually prefer them), but they have the potential to reduce the pool of potential buyers because other types of players may find them too complicated-looking and too abstract (especially in contrast with A&A’s plastic sculpts).  Younger players would be one such group; another such group might be people who are generalist board gamers rather than wargamers specifically.  Larry’s new game seems to be aiming for a middle-ground approach: using neither sculpts nor symbol chits, but rather using stacks of differently-shaped and coloured blocks to depict in a physical but abstracted manner the size and composition of the forces operating on the board.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    no military ( nato) symbols, but icons or figures of tanks, planes that are nation specific.

  • Do we know approximately when the kickstarter will be launched?

  • Yes, per Thomas Gale of Nightingale games the Kickstarter is scheduled for October 17th so far. The next bulletin for everyone that is signed up to receive will be today, Friday and will also include the latest set of rules that will be available for print out.
        We had our second play test of War Room with Larry Harris and Thomas Gale and 7 other players playing 2 games simultaneously in Amherst, Mass. We had a blast again and the feedback was positive! The hidden movement being written down is like Diplomacy. The bidding of oil for turn placement before each turn keeps the game fresh and simultaneous movement alleviates another major gripe by many players who don’t like to sit around waiting for their turn. Working with your partners is essential as well! A lot of attention has been paid to fix or change a lot of things that most people have complained about for years. When you get immersed in this game you will forget about the figures of the Axis and Allies games of the past. This game will appeal to a broad group of war gamers of all kinds!

  • The War Room 2nd Time Played!

    Hi All,

    Play-Tested the War Room Game a 2nd time and again had a blast plying it! Played the Pacific Scenario and played Japan. I to my distress over strategic reached with a strong Japanese Naval Stack South of New Guinea and was trapped by a strong allied counter moved based on the main striking power of American land based Fighter and Bomber Token Stacks with American Naval Tokens  plus a fair kike in of Air Tokens by the Aussie area of the British Empire. I lost my Naval Stack task force which included a Battleship Token plus a Air Craft Carrier Token. There was also Air Token losses on both sides plus a couple Naval Token losses to the American Naval Stack. But this now put Japan in a bad strategic position and now had to fight a next round of play blocking the American drive in the sea area just northeast of New Guinea which Japan had to commit another Naval Stack of Cruisers and Submarines and all the land based Aircraft Tokens that could reach. At the end of this combat Japan’s Naval Stack was eliminated but also the American Naval stack was eliminated. Japan still had other Naval forces in 3 Naval Stacks left with 1 Battle Ship, 2 Aircraft Carriers and 2 Cruisers plus new Naval stack of 3 Submarines. The US had only 1 Naval stack of 3 Submarines, but had marked superiority of Land Based Aircraft which now left Japan having to back off and needing to build up its land based air power Tokens to now confront America in the Pacific. But in the mean time Southeast Asia and China Fronts had been very active with both sides bled white with Japan taking the worst of it and lost the Industry land territory of China which Japan just barley having enough land forces to make a attempt to take back the Industries territory of China. Japan was in a tough strategic position now having the need to heavily supply the Pacific China and Southeast Asia with Tokens all at the same time, which really could not be done. But ran out of time playing the game and all agreed including myself that Japan would have most likely lost the game scenario. My hat off to my 2 adversaries which are 2 long old friends also Todd and Mike. Game Well Played! Just would like to say using the game system mechanics and rules again very impressed with the easy to use rules that cover so much representing strategic history again without all those charts of other more complicated strategic games. The writing down of the movement commands and then following the rules to move your Army, Naval and Airforce stacks add a great fog of war component to this game which I love, leaving you with now having to react to and develop plans to compensate. Sort off like the old saying all the laid out plans go out the widow when combat is engaged and now the victory goes to the side that reacts the best with add-hoc plans during combat. This is the feeling I have when playing this great game of the “War Room”!


  • HI
        I know Joe and have played Axis and Allies with him several times. He is a very knowledgeable person on all the AA games and their history pretty much combining the points of view of an Axis and Allies Historian, Player and war game designer so I am sure his comments are good. They were helpful feedback as I am considering getting this game and now will almost definitely do so. Joe thanks and hope to see you Sat. at the Battle for Long Island.

  • See you there as well Joe! Gen. Nehring.  A.K.A. Todd

  • Sponsor

    Larry Harris and Thomas Gale loaned me one of their prototype games of WAR ROOM… I will be shooting video all about it on my YouTube channel The Cliffside Bunker… stay tuned.

  • Having play tested this with Larry Harris and Tom Gale and the guys at Y.G.'s Global '40 invitational tournament, I now have a better feel for the mechanics and game-play than just from my reading of the rules on-line and looking a production pictures and stills.
    In terms of the artwork/graphics, just remember guys that it is still in a prototype stage of development. Being a prototype, I must say that the quality of the majority of pieces is better than some other wargame’s finished product quality.
    Larry added a new feature to the command stack counter/tokens for our playtest. A rapid set-up feature that uses a colored pip system to represent what types of units are included in each command stack at start. Instead of placing each unit in a stack, you simply place the command token in the territory specified on the token{ex: a square token has a German Flag and large number. In the upper corner of the token, it shows a G8, along the bottom it show 3 yellow pips, 2 blue, 2 green. You place this one token on the territory G8(Germany) and wait to place the units themselves until you need them. Yellow=infantry, Blue=artillery, Green=armor}
    This cuts out a lot of set-up time and makes the game a quicker playing game, you have no need to populate the stacks until you actually need them in combat, or for breaking them up in movement.
    The units themselves are communal in that any country can utilize the infantry, artillery, armor, etc.(except China: they are limited to infantry and artillery)
    One more thought on the command tokens: Remember guys, this is a grand strategic level game, and the command tokens represent complete combined arms equipped army groups, and not individual infantry divisions, or panzer groups, or artillery brigades/regiments.
    Think large scale Army Groups. To have country specific differentiation of units with logos for each type of unit will add a large number of tokens and clutter the map. The tokens we played with were a mix of plastic, metal and wooden tokens that had the countries flags and unit number. Air, naval, and land command tokens all had their own range of numbers that helped quickly identify what type of unit a command issued was for.

    I have complete faith that the final artwork will be beautiful and of high quality material. The kickstarter process will also offer plenty of opportunities for continued development and exchange of ideas.

    I will be posting more content and thoughts on War Room in the future on this forum, as well as my YouTube channel(The Big ‘E’ A&A) and will also be working closely with Y.G. as he puts out great content on Larry’s new game.

    Thanks for taking a moment to read this,
    Yours Truly,
    The Big ‘E’

  • Shut up and take my money!!  😄

    VERY excited about this.  Can’t wait for the Kickstarter.

  • '14

    Just 10 days away! I’m going to get mine!

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