Pact of Steel 3? Need Feedback on New Map

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Hey everyone,

    I’ve got a relatively crude rough draft of a new map that I think fills an interesting niche: it’s a bit larger than just the European theater of operations (has India, Middle East, S. Africa, etc.) but leaves out the Pacific to save room and time. It’s got enough detail in the Mediterranean sea to allow for an interesting island hopping campaign across Corsica, Sicily, Crete, etc., but there are only 60 territories on the whole map, so the game should be fairly easy and quick to set up, play through a full game in one evening, etc. I’ve tried to abstract out the parts of the game that are often less interesting or more fiddly while still giving enough IPCs and enough room to make it useful and fun to fight for peripheral theaters like Scandinavia and Africa.

    I’m tentatively naming the map after the Pact of Steel series because I was inspired by their excellent work in designing a map with islands intersecting the borders between sea zones, and by their decision to make Egypt and South Africa worth 3 IPCs each, but I’m happy to change the name if any of the original Pact of Steel authors find that inappropriate. As keen viewers will notice, the map is loosely modeled after the borders from A&A 1914.

    Note that names and borders are not intended to be historically accurate; this is supposed to be a ‘just-for-fun’ map aimed at a less intense crowd that wants an intermediate-level strategic challenge. I want it to be one significant step up from the A&A 1941 game you can buy at Target. No tech and no national objectives. Very limited special abilities, i.e., no special “anti-aircraft” guns, two-hit battleships, or submarine “sneak attacks” – instead the units are meant to be balanced based on their stats alone. If you raid a factory (or depot) with your bomber, the factory (or depot) can defend using its natural defense roll, and you can also intercept with any fighters you have handy. Damage from an air raid is immediately and automatically subtracted from the enemy’s treasury, up to the maximum value of each territory being raided. Air raids last for one round of combat; all other battles continue until only one faction remains. USA starts with no IPCs and skips its first turn, collecting income for the first time at the end of its second turn. Russia starts with no IPCs but gets to move on the first turn. Invading any neutral country means you have to fight your way through the neutral country’s defenses. Otherwise there are no political restrictions.

    One new rule that I do want to introduce is supply lines. All units must be able to trace a supply line that reaches back to a friendly or neutral factory or depot in three moves or less without passing through any enemy units. The factories can supply unlimited units, but they can only be built in territories worth at least 3 IPCs. The supply depots can be built anywhere, but they only supply 3 units each. Unsupplied units cannot move, and are -1 Attack each and -1 Defense each. This should provide some extra incentive to fight over the various Mediterranean islands, north Africa, etc. – you’ll usually need the islands to supply a large enough invasion force to effectively attack either Rome or Egypt.

    The unit roster would probably be something like:

    | Cost | | Atk. | Def. | Move | Special |
    | 3 | Infantry | 1 | 3 | 1 | |
    | 4 | Artillery | 2 | 1 | 1 | +1 Atk each for up to 3 Inf |
    | 5 | Mech. Inf. | 2 | 3 | 2 | |
    | 6 | Tank | 5 | 2 | 2 | Can blitz |
    | 8 | Fighter | 2 | 3 | 3 | Can intercept raids |
    | 12 | Bomber | 4 | 1 | 5 | Can raid factories for $1d6+2 damage |
    | 6 | Transport | 0 | 0 | 2 | Can carry 3 Inf or 1 Inf + 1 Art/Mech/Tnk |
    | 7 | Submarine | 2 | 1 | 2 | May avoid combat by retreating into open sea zone; convoy for $1 |
    | 8 | Destroyer | 2 | 3 | 2 | |
    | 11 | Carrier | 1 | 2 | 2 | Can carry 3 Ftr or 1 Ftr + 1 Bmr |
    | 14 | Battleship | 4 | 4 | 2 | Preemptive Shore Bombard |
    | 10 | Supply Depot | 0 | 1 | 0 | Build up to 10 IPCs/turn; Supply 3 units |
    | 25 | Factory | 0 | 2 | 0 | Unlimited Build & Supply; downgrade to Depot if captured |

    I’d really appreciate your feedback!
    Zimmerman detailed map.png

  • I really like the concept of a map between 1941 and 1940. 42 does a decent job at this but it will be cool to have a European Theater only that fits this level of complexity. I was curious about the Sahara desert. Can you cross it in your game?

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Thanks! I’m glad you like the idea. 🙂

    And, yes, I’m planning to make it legal for units to cross the Sahara. Because there are three Sahara territories and none of them are worth any cash, it would very rarely be worthwhile to actually go and do that – for example, the distance from Morocco to Egypt is the same regardless of whether you use the Sahara. It’s still four spaces away. You could theoretically use the Sahara to quickly get from Algeria to Central Africa, but it would usually be tricky to keep your units supplied; if Ethiopia has already been liberated by the Allies, then the Axis typically won’t have a way to supply units moving into Central Africa, and if Paris and Egypt have already been conquered by the Axis, then the Allies typically won’t have a way to supply units moving into Algeria. But it could happen! And I think a ‘surprise attack’ across the desert in rare games could be a lot of fun.

    What do you think? Would being able to cross the Sahara break (part of) the game?

  • '17 '16 '15

    Good Action Argo ! Sounds way cool. Do you plan on making a triplea version ?

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