• Hi there pps, been a while.

    Was looking on the Triple A game and just looking at a few things, and when the USA is not at War yet ( with Germany nore Japan ), there was something I either didn’t know, or triple A has its own rule.

    On triple A, German subs ( no USA destroyer in place yet ) for example can goto SZ 101 ( one outside Washington DC ) but in the Pacific, no Japanese fleet can enter SZ 10 at all.

    So why is it allowed in the Atlantic, and not in the Pacific side of the USA coast?

    Has this always been a rule in the board game, or just a Triple A rule?

    Cheers, play safe! Bravehart.

  • This isn’t exact rule language but my understanding.
    If Japan moves within 2 sea zones of the continental US it is a declaration of war. The rule does not hold for Germany though.

    Hope that helps!

  • @Saber25

    Hi…how are you…?! I am not faulting rules, but just found it odd that if the two Axis were not at war with the sleeping giants, why can One go and free go in one SZ but the other nation not. This will cause a conflict of WHY in a game.

  • Moderator Official Q&A 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12 TripleA

    @Bravehart said in When USA not at War:

    So why is it allowed in the Atlantic, and not in the Pacific side of the USA coast?

    It is a restriction for Japan not being at war with USA:
    “When not yet at war with the United States, in addition to the normal restrictions (see “Powers Not at War with One Another,” page 14), Japan may not end the movement of its sea units within 2 sea zones of the United States’ mainland territories (Western United States and Alaska).”
    (rulebook Pacific 1940, page 37)

    There is no such restriction for Germany.

    @Saber25 said in When USA not at War:

    If Japan moves within 2 sea zones of the continental US it is a declaration of war.

    Not really. War is declared at the beginning of the combat move phase.
    Technically, if you didn’t declare war at that time, you are simply not allowed to move there as Japan.

  • Official Q&A

    The “why” is based on historical reality. Until the surprise attacks of late 1941, Japan was at war only with China, and not with anyone in the Pacific. Therefore, any Japanese naval presence close to the USA mainland would have been seen as an act of aggression, as they would have no business being there.

    In contrast, Germany was at war with the United Kingdom, and it was engaged in active warfare in the Atlantic. German submarines roamed the Atlantic pretty much freely until the United States entered the war.

  • Hi…Thanks for the great responses, and from you all inclu the explanation from Krieghund in a more depth reasoning’s.


  • 2021 '18 '17

    @Krieghund Its hard to square that with the ability of the IJN to pass through SZ 26 which we extensively argued about and validated a few years ago. Hello visiting fleet with 400 planes, a 21-gun salute for you!

  • Official Q&A

    Bear in mind that at the time Hawaii was not a state, but a territory, although a strategically important one. It was one among many Pacific island territories of the USA, and while a nearby Japanese presence would certainly have raised eyebrows, it would not have had the same effect that such a presence closer to the mainland would have.

    While Alaska was also still a territory at the time, the fact of its closer proximity to the continental USA makes it worthy of inclusion in the restriction.

  • 2021 '18 '17

    @Krieghund I’m not a huge fan of extrinsic explanations for the game dynamics. No empire would allow a rival’s gigantic fleet to wander around their territories, possessions, vassal states, allies, or any other area during a time of international tension. In fact, in your original post, you said as much. But the rules is the rules, and I play by them.

    I personally don’t think absolute historical accuracy or reference makes games fun, which is why I’m attracted to the somewhat abstract/somewhat historical essence of AxA rather than the old AH games that attempt to model rigorous historical realism

  • Official Q&A

    There must be a certain amount of historical accuracy in order for the game to “feel like” the subject matter. Axis & Allies has always dealt with this accuracy at a macro level, striving for “feel” rather than simulation, and thus not dwelling on minutiae. It’s a fine line to walk, but some historical realities must be observed in order to maintain the ambiance. In this case, the restriction presents the feeling of threat without overly burdening the Japan player, as forcing avoidance of all USA territories would.

    I won’t pretend that there aren’t game play reasons why this restriction is in place. If there weren’t, why burden the game with it? However, any such rule must be grounded in historical events and realities in order to not come off as “gamey” and ruin the feel of the experience.

    All of that being said, the USA did rather famously (infamously?) allow the IJN to get within striking distance of Hawaii, as well as several other of its Pacific possessions, without raising much of a fuss until it was too late. I doubt the same would have been true if the mainland had been so threatened (my original post did make this distinction). In game terms, the “threat zone” of the mainland extends two sea zones out. Since the Hawaiian sea zone is outside of that radius, and since Hawaii could just as easily be attacked from Japanese-held territory (Marshall Islands), there was little point in game terms of excluding Japan from that sea zone.

  • 2021 '18 '17

    I think this consideration cuts both ways–we can argue both sides of what is “historical” and what isn’t.

    I think a more compelling reason for the rule is that it leaves a fantasy scenario open to the Axis, and there are many of those–a balance that demonstrates that the opening setup (as revised) is about as goldilocks as this particular game/map can get between what is Fantasy and what is Historical Reality (the Axis get slapped down).

    Having attempted my own setups and game design, I fully appreciate the work and thought that went into the placement of literally every single unit and each rule, in each iteration. It still cannot strike an absolute “balance”, but that is nearly impossible in games where the opponents start with different units/territories/advanages (unlike chess where the only difference between the two sides is who goes first, that is a “model” game)

    I think your point would be better made if the Japanese fleet was parked in the SZ to the left of SZ 26…not in it. Not scale wise but diplomacy/surprise wise. Appreciate the discussion.

  • Hello, may I add here a hint for my question:

    May US (not yet at war) move to a seazone adjacent to an ORIGINALLY Japanese controlled territory that e.g. ANZAC has already taken control of? I.e. sz33 off Caroline Islands, round 2 or 3.

    Thanks in advance

  • Official Q&A

    Yes. The movement restriction applies only to territories currently controlled by Japan.

  • Does a Japanese destroyer in that seazone change anything?

  • Moderator Official Q&A 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12 TripleA


    No, as

    “Movement: A power’s ships don’t block
    the naval movements of other powers
    with which it’s not at war, and vice versa.
    They can occupy the same sea zones.”

    (Rulebook, Pacific 1940.2, page 14)

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I am trying desperately to understand the circumstances where ANZAC would control the Caroline Islands but the US is not at war with Japan…

    The answer is correct under those circumstances though!


  • @Marshmallow-of-War Japan and the UK…or in your shoes ANZAC ( as UK and ANZAC are two together ) can go to War against Japan. This may be a vurble announcement at the start of ANZAC’s turn, or your combat move to attack Caroline Islands is enough to lay the point of direction…‘ANZAC and UK at war with Japan as well as Germany/Italy’…this of course before Turn 4.

    The State’s however may still be sleeping and doesn’t want a part of the War yet till beginning of Turn 4. The US can still b4 turn four do a declaration of war against Japan to bring them into the game, enhancing there extra 30 IPC’s.

    Did this help your wondering Marsh?


  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I apparently neglected to consider the utterly stupid option of ANZAC initiating war and then completely depleting its defenses and putting it’s valuable transports in harms way by taking the Carolines.

    Of course I considered it. I just would hate to play with anyone dumb enough to do it!


  • @Marshmallow-of-War ANZAC DOW is not always dumb. Sometimes it allows a key ship block or prevents transports in disputed zones from picking up soldiers. I have seen it happen a handful of times.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @Arthur-Bomber-Harris said in When USA not at War:

    @Marshmallow-of-War ANZAC DOW is not always dumb. Sometimes it allows a key ship block or prevents transports in disputed zones from picking up soldiers. I have seen it happen a handful of times.

    Completely true! The ANZAC declaration following a UK Pacific ship move is a classic! I can’t imagine anyone taking issue with that.

    However, you’re ignoring the second half of that…

    It’s taking the Carolines after initiating a war that leaves the US out of the fight that is the issue, leaving the transports vulnerable and stripping defenses from ANZAC itself. I can’t imagine a scenario where that would be wise.

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