Some of the fussiest rules in the A&A handbook are the rules for bombing runs, interceptors, AAA gunfire, and submarines.
Many people enjoy fussiness; they like learning all of the intricate details of a complicated ruleset and then finding ways to exploit them. That’s fine. If you enjoy complex rules for their own sake, this House Rule is not for you. This House Rule is for people who enjoy complicated gameplay but who want the rules to be as simple as possible. The idea is to get a lot of theme and a lot of strategy without needing too many different rules.
So, here’s my proposal:
Bombers – bombers can make bombing runs against any territory, even if the territory has no factory in it. If you wish, you may escort your bombers with fighters by moving the fighters into the territory. When you make a bombing run, the defender does not get any automatic AAA shots. Instead, the defender rolls one die per flak gun in the territory (flak guns hit on rolls of 1), and one die per fighter in the territory (fighters hit on rolls of 2 or less). For each hit scored by the defender, eliminate one attacking bomber or one attacking escort fighter (attacker’s choice). Any surviving bombers then roll 1d6 and destroy IPCs from the defender’s treasury equal to the value shown on the dice. The defender cannot lose more IPCs from a territory than the territory is worth (e.g. bombing India can lose you at most 3 IPCs), and the defender cannot lose more IPCs than their entire treasury.
Flak Guns – attack at 1, defend at 1, move 1 space, and behave exactly like a regular land unit. They can make a combat move, they can be taken as a casualty, they can conquer territories, and they don’t get a preemptive shot. The only two things that make a flak gun special are that (a) if they score a hit in a battle against you, and you have any planes in that battle, then you have to select one of your planes as the casualty, and (b) flak guns help defend against bombing runs.
Submarines – attack at 2, defend at 1, move 2 spaces, and behave exactly like a regular sea unit. They are blocked by enemy warships, do not submerge, can be hit by planes, can hit planes, and do not make sneak attacks. Instead, each submarine adjacent to an enemy territory during that enemy’s collect income reduces the enemy’s income by 1 IPC. The income from a territory cannot be reduced below zero by submarines. It is recommended (but not required) to raise the defensive value of destroyers from 2 to 3 to help keep submarines balanced.
All of this may sound like a lot to keep straight, but it’s mostly a matter of unlearning some of the fiddly rules that we’re used to playing with. These rules should be easier for new players to learn because they treat all units as essentially the same except for one or two special abilities: instead of submarines behaving totally differently from any other ship and requiring separate rolls and a separate phase of combat, submarines are just ships that are able to deal 1 IPC of industrial damage. Instead of AAA guns behaving totally differently from any other land unit and requiring separate rolls and unique rules for movement and capture, AAA guns are just land units that are able to preferentially target planes when they score a hit.