Initial thoughts about a new map...

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    Hey all, it’s been a while but I’m catching the Axis and Allies bug again. I ran a game monthly game night for six years with the same type map and can’t get excited about setting up the exact same thing again. I think it’s the Aries in me - I love to create.

    So I was thinking about a new type of map. A basic limitation on maps is how far a human can comfortably stretch across them to reach things. For me this is about 41 inches. This means that the world map view lacks detail.

    But what about a map where the main historic theaters (like Europe, East Asia, and Pacific) are large (blown up) and thus more detailed and conductive to tactics, and the other areas (like South America and most of Africa) are represented abstractly around the edges like maybe in blow up boxes as the original AA 1984 map had?

    Does this kind of concept sound intriguing to you or would you rather still play on a less detailed overall world map?

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Are you using the same time frame as your old map was I assume. I would like to see more terrain in territory’s with movement restrictions with weather involved.
    Be nice to have more ports and city’s on map plus maybe like 1 or 2 mainline railroads for all. But not like hbg 36 map.
    Larry’s new war game I liked the railroads on that map. If u need I can post pic of big map if u don’t have for ideas.
    Then u could have more SBR or sabatoge in Europe and maybe Africa and Asia.
    For me not a fan of blow up boxes. Rather see all on one map.
    Plus u could add sea mines and your pill boxes or whatever you have in game. Add more resources and oil stuff to.
    More convoy boxes or just routes on map. Just some ideas.
    Maybe make islands bigger with bays but this maybe limited based on where most fleets or navies battle it out.
    Maybe add event cards to game to have small changes or adjustments per turn for all countries which I have.

    Maybe change time frame of game. This way you can change setup some too. Maybe try to get more historical on setup a bit.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @GEN-MANSTEIN Thanks for the ideas - I’d like to add railroads and such since a bigger map would enable more detail. Lots to think through at this point.

  • Sponsor

    @Der-Kuenstler Great to see you back DK, I know that the YouTube community would love to see a new video from ya. BTW… any new map you create will be awesome.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @Young-Grasshopper Thanks YG - I’ve missed fiddling with this game - it satisfies a creative urge I have in me, as well as you and others here. Even if ideas fail, they are fun to tinker with…glad to see you still around!


  • I would like to have a board based on hex tiles like in Battle of the Bulge, but smaller hexes and larger scale.
    So each hex can hold only one unit. Maybe larger hexes as sea zones, or keep sea zones as they are.
    This would be a completely different game. I would even add simple supply line mechanics with harbours and trucks. IPC income are based on single hexes that represent cities, so no control markers needed. Captured cities needed to stay occupied with units … and yes a lot of new rules needed… and month or years of testing and balancing 😄

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17

    @Sturmhard-Eisenkeil said in Initial thoughts about a new map...:

    I would like to have a board based on hex tiles like in Battle of the Bulge, but smaller hexes and larger scale.
    {Snip}

    A question I’ve asked before, but… At what point does “house rules” and “game tinkering” move over to making a completely different game, albeit one with pieces from the first game?

    -Midnight_Reaper


  • @Midnight_Reaper propably if fundamental game mechanics of the original game won’t apply any longer.
    It was more a wishful thinking from my side. I’d absolutely love it if there would be more scenario based A&A games like D-Day, Guadalcanal and BotB.
    So like for example a North Africa Campaign game based on hexes with supply line mechanics…
    … but I’ll stop it right there … never mind 😉


  • I took Europe 1940 2nd edition to my local printer and enlarged Europe, UK and parts of Russia,

    little confusing - must look at both maps but we used some blank 1/2" cardboard counters to mark where armies were on “blown” up map.

    Works pretty good


  • Glad that you are back. Your YouTube videos are one of the main reasons I started playing Axis & Allies. Wish you success with building a new war room. Looking forward to seeing your new map when you create it.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @Stumblebum Thank you!

  • 2020

    There is a way to have new maps for Axis & Allies where virtually every game would be a different map.
    Reference my post in the ‘Other Axis & Allies variants’ section. It is on Pg 2 and is called ‘Creating your own free form A & A nations’. This process requires work to create both a new multi-square Ocean map, a number (minimum 5) of Great Powers (eg Ger, UK, USA, etc), their associated nearby neutral territories & some other neutral territory islands & multi-territory landmasses. A person could use a hexagonal map rather than one of squares (which I did for my free form A&A:1914 game map). The idea is to make up random lands which can be randomly placed on an Ocean map board. The idea is to have Great power PF values that are close to each other in value and to have enough neutral territory values for PF increases. This takes work to create but you won’t be playing A&A on the same map ever again.
    (I should find a way to illustrate what I’ve done via uploaded pictures)

  • '19 '15 '14

    I tried to use an idea like that for a WW1 map. Abstracting the Western Front in to a large playbox. Retaining Europe and the Med, but abstracting everywhere else like the Americas, Africa and the Pacific into boxes. The idea I tried to play with was like a maze of Sea Zones connecting the regions.

    I thought Empire Total War also did an interesting take, by combining 3 theater maps connected with abstracted Trade routes for other regions.

    Something like that might work for WW2, basically compressing the main fronts in Europe/North Africa and in the Pacific. I guess basically you’d want Axis at their greatest extent in the zoom, and some of the rest abstracted. It was easier for me to get my head around the idea for WW1 since the fronts were more limited and major expeditionary forces bouncing around the globe doing amphib stuff didn’t really fit the period. Although in WW2, I think the attractive idea is that global domination and painting the whole map is a little more conceivable in that era. Still, might work, just need a compelling abstraction scheme.

    Anyhow, yeah, it is intriguing to me for sure. I’d be curious to see where you take the idea

  • 2020

    Actually, Black Elk, my idea is you make a map board of all ocean spaces which are numbered & have an E-W border movement (N & S being high latitude therefore impassable). The concept is to create new Great Powers and enough neutral territories to approximate the PF values of an A&A map. My design is based on A&A Classic, however, it could be extrapolated to any of the games. The idea is to make an entirely new game board. An additional step which I have devised allows for a random placement of these Great Powers and other Territories so that each game board will be different - even the alignment of the land territories will be randomized. It is necessary, of course, to create, at least, 5 Great Powers and some neutral landmasses (neutral territories). One simply uses the playing pieces of the 5 major WW2 nations. In my home version of this, which I term ‘Allies & Enemies’ (A&E), I made up 7 sets of pieces so I could have up to a 7 player game (though, in RL, this has never occurred). My sets of pieces are mainly lead & pewter miniatures from what was available in the 1980s. I use plastic plane sets from that era for the aircraft. As to Great Powers - I & my old gaming friends from the 80s - there has been 12 Great Powers randomly created (I did all the artwork for consistency of look) - so this random Great Power creation system works (played considerably).
    What someone suggested and what I must now do is to make up a you tube video of what & how I made my A&A random map board - how it works & how it changes for each game one would play.
    The design pre-supposes a variable number of players (4-7 would be best, although 5 or 6 would be ‘traditional’) each playing on their own OR, alternately, somehow divided into two as equal as possible teams ‘points’ (PF) wise. I made my game designed on a map of sea spaces that are all squares sized to hold sufficient naval units - the land territories being ‘squarish’ in shape, as well. At the time, I was influenced by the off board ‘squares’ for unit placement on the old original A&A Classic map (a really bad design feature, in retrospect). Now, with A&A:WW1, which I recently obtained, I have used my design idea for original Great Powers where I use a hexagonal space map - a better way to do random alignments (as you can do 6 directions to just 4 with a square space map. Plus, in my A&A:WW1 map version, sea spaces will be more important. * Note: in either game (WW1 or WW2) my map design system uses more sea spaces as the maps of the land have absolutely no bearing to the map of the Earth (with Europe, Pacific, etc, as in the regular A&A maps). I hope I haven’t confused anyone too much.
    To conclude, I need to get assistance to place something onto You Tube where you will see me, an ‘old fart’ A&A board gamer, explain & illustrate how one makes their own ‘Great Powers’.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Sounds pretty cool! I’d watch the video haha. I have a lot of old pewters from the 80s, but mine are all high fantasy, dragons and the like. My uncle had some kick ass Napoleonic era pewters, and a great set of plastic army men from the early 60s that I always pined over.

    My first serious attempt at the map concept was for the computer in tripleA, a few decades ago, so pretty limited by what the thing could do at the time. It worked for a bit, but was kinda wonky and used some gimmicky ideas for the naval movement and convoys, as a way to delay the USA. It had a kind of one direction flow from the Americas to support the Entente, but the game was basically decided by what happened in Europe with the CP. I was never very satisfied, but it was a fun project cause I like the era. You can see the map down at the bottom here…

    https://axisandallies.fandom.com/wiki/Great_War

    Then I tried to revisit the era again, but ended up not using the WW1 map abstraction concept, opting for something that just had the whole world on view and a more free form 1898-1918 vibe, so the factions could be less rigid. Basically I wanted it to include the Spanish American war, and Africa scrambles, or Boxer rebellion-y stuff with a kind of slow build into WW1. I split the Entente into Anglo-American and Franco-Russian sides, to see if I could find a way of dividing up the world and then tacked some others minors onto each team just to see how it would work. I think I had America-Britain-Portugal-Japan on one team, France-Spain-Italy-Russia on another. Germany-Austria-Ottomans-the Dutch and China on the last. Just so the spread would be evenly distributed with some fronts in each theater to tease out. I determined it as too simplistic and anachronistic though. It was basically the dilemma of the 3 faction game and being modelled more on the playscale of Risk than A&A that proved kind of intractable. The factions weren’t entirely satisfying, though I thought it kind of fun for make believe, and colonial competition. I just called it “Domination” lol. That one had a very limited unit roster, and simplified economy, but a much larger scale of territory divisions. I think it still would have worked on a 6 ft table, but only because of the limited units. Really it was just an excuse to draw a world map projection with a warp that I liked a little better than the traditional A&A map.

    https://axisandallies.fandom.com/wiki/Domination

    I wanted something a bit closer to Mercator, but which would still give a much larger Europe. The squish-blob challenge I found was in how to manage South Asia and Africa, where the map compression becomes more extreme due to what has to happen with Europe/Med in A&A style games, so there was some abstraction, but a bit different than the earlier idea. I abandoned that one too, but Hepster picked it up again and revised it considerably for a 1914 era game using the same base projection but focused more on politics and a much more highly evolved roster/ruleset for this one…

    https://forums.triplea-game.org/topic/1063/power-of-politics-1914-a-wwi-scenario

    I’m not sure if that one would work as a physical game though without a very large map. Perhaps 2x6 ft tables to make a large square with a more extreme warp in the map projection? But basically its better on a computer I’d imagine since you can map zoom and scale to micro with the imaginary sculpts. But work on it has gone a bit quiet since last year. Anyhow, it have a few of the abstraction concepts for stuff like convoys or how to handle the Bolshevik revolution (always a toughy), or things like cities through an abstracted scheme, but not so much with the playboxes ideas.

    I’m definitely interested in different ways to push the map around though. I enjoyed the Classic playboxes in the first A&A map I picked up, even if they were just sort of cosmetic zooms in that one. I liked the look of it.

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