This seems like a very interesting system, I’m definitely going to explore this concept with my buddy next time we get a chance. I remember I once tried to play Classic with my friend Oddie using a full fog of war secret move concept. Basically we tried simultaneous phases (ie. all nations purchase at once, then all nations move at once etc.) Roughly modeled things on Risk II’s system (the old cd game by Microprose of the classic RISK boardgame) for “Same Time” Risk.
We used a screen for each player (similar to the old Dungeon Masters screen, a tri-fold that stands upright.) Purchase was planned, written down, and then hidden behind the screen, not revealed until placement. Movement was written down on an index card and kept secret until both players had recorded all their moves. Same thing for Non combat. It was very important in this case to enforce strict separation of game phases, and to write down everything, which was rather involved.
For combat we always rolled the “border clashes” first, so if both players tried to move across the same border (territory to territory) then that combat was always rolled first and both sides as if their units were “attackers.” After border clashes was the normal combat phase for all players, at the same time, with standard attack and defense. Going basically from the left of the board to the right in order.
It was not a terribly successful approach on game balance, since the game is balanced for tbs, but it was fun for a trial. The main issue we had was trying to find a way to take a TBS game, and make it into a “Same Time” game, this necessitates a completely collapsed turn order and more money HRs to work. And after my buddy moved, I just never had anyone around who was motivated enough to try and figure this stuff out.
Trying to do a Same Time Classic game was also the first one where I ever tried to include variable income bonus rolls, and set bonuses to starting cash. Since the turn order advantage was nonexistent, it was necessary to introduce more money for the game to work on a practical level. Basically finding that if you double the starting cash values for each player, and then randomize bonuses thereafter to about double normal income per round, it gave nations enough money to each to basically counterbalance the effect of trying to do all phases at the same time for each nation. (Since everyone is throwing units everywhere, and since the destroyed TUV in round 1 could then be replaced, later in the game, instead of being lost irreparably in the first round.) It was fun, but required a lot of rethinking, in terms of the basics of how the game operates. The "Same Time idea always seemed a better solution for me than a collapsed TBS order that has all Allies going at once, and then all Axis. Same time had it so that all the purchases, moves, combats and placements occurred at the same time for all Nations.
The ideas CWOMarc is suggesting seem like they might offer something similar in the way of secrecy, but without requiring the full “Same Time” dynamic, where everyone does the same phase at once. I’m intrigued to try it out.
As for the cards, I tried my Income bonus rules again last monday, and again I am convinced that Global can support this fairly well. I have yet to introduce the rest of the gamephases into the card game, but feel confident that given the right set up, Axis and Allies can support a random draw mechanic. Just need to keep drafting and testing until I get the right mix