Not sure if anyone has done this yet so thought I would throw this out and get some feedback from anyone on this board…
One of the aspects of the game is that everyone can see everyone else’s pieces and position. Therefore, any strategy employed is basically revealed upon purchase of the pieces. So we decided to develop a variant. It also works well with the quarantine, since you can play over Zoom.
We have three players. One is Axis, the other is Allies, and I am the game master. We each have our own boardgame at home. The main twist, is that while we set up each of our games exactly the same, after the game begins you can only see your pieces. The only thing you know about your opponent is what is revealed when they battle or when they conduct reconnaissance. This allows each of the players to build up special forces and attack their opponents in unorthodox ways. It also partially mitigates many of the common strategies since you have guard your territories against sneak attacks.
Here is how it works. We set up the board. Then in battle order turn, each player communicates confidentially with the game master on three troop movements before the game starts. This allows each player to somewhat reposition their forces from the beginning. Once this is done, we start. In battle order turn the player communicates their purchases to GM, tells the GM their attacks. The GM brings both players together, announces the attacks in the order the attacker desires, and conducts the battle. Each player knows all pieces in the attacks, what border country the pieces came from, and if an attack is ended before victory, which country the pieces leave through. Then the player tells the game master confidentially where the purchased pieces go. Then it goes to the next country up.
There are some additional rules needed for how to conduct reconnaissance, who can detect subs, how subs are attacked, how naval movement works with incidental contact, etc.
But the benefit is that you may not have any idea what your opponent is up to. This becomes very interesting in the pacific theater where your naval units have lots of room to move undetected, and asian factories may go undetected for multiple rounds.