After a quest for the perfect map, we even used a projector to enlarge and trace out other maps; I finally found the map that I was going to use. The map is 13â€™ x 9â€™ made from a wallpaper material and comes in 8 sections. I positioned North and South America to my left side and Japan and much of the Pacific Ocean on the far right side with Europe and Western Russia positioned in the middle, just like the game map is set up. I trimmed off a bit off the top and the bottom of the map so to make access to the countries that much easier, The final result was 13â€™ X 8â€™ which fit very well on (4) 4â€™ X 8â€™ sheets of plywood, (the fourth sheet had to be cut down to a one foot strip to get the thirteen feet. The sheets were raised up to about a waist level platform to make playing the game much easier. On one section (mostly comprised of Africa) I made that section removable (just rolled it out and away). Spaces - The sea spaces were rather easy, I simply used the maps latitude and longitude coordinates. The lines intersected and created blocks, these blocks made up the sea spaces for my navies. On land, each individual country was a move space which made the game that much more authentic, awesome actually. Russia and Asia, I used very thin (black in color) vinyl car pin stripping (you can get it at any auto parts store), it is very sticky on the one side and it allowed you to contour out the territories throughout Russia and East Asia. The pin stripping worked very well, because if you screwed up the contour lines you can remove it and put it down again till you were satisfied with your boundaries.
I am in the process of moving so I took down the map (ruining it - because of all of the staples) but I purchased the map in the laminated version which should be better because it will be easier to clean and it should be more resistant to warp age due to humidity. This time I may place it on my platform and place Plexiglas on top of it to hold it in place and without damaging it.
Because of the size of the map I can easily get much more pieces on it. After much trial and error, my brother and I were able to give each country an increase of between 10X â€“ 20X the original game amounts. The Navyâ€™s got about 10X the start up amounts across the board (i.e. where you had one battleship in a sea space now you had ten). Land units, the increases that were added were logical to balance the game as best as possible. Such a large map, Germany needed some increases to sustain much further rounds because of the large borders that it had to defend and attack from. Russia got some increases to counter. UK got some increases in southern Africa (when I say increases I am referring to more than the 10x from the original setup). Japan got some increases (I am not with my notebook but I think some increases to the Navy as well) The US got a little bit of an increase as well to counter. Again, we had to be very careful not to provide too much power to any one power.
In the game we did some other changes to increase the fun and realistic factors. First, letâ€™s start with game play; in the original you play Russia, Germany, UK, Japan and USA in that order. (kind of boring for the axis player as he must wait till the ally player to play out USA then Russia before the axis player got a chance to play, and with this map it can take awhile so we changed the play to â€“ Germany(Europe), Russia, Germany(Southern Europe and Africa), United Kingdom, Japan, and then USAâ€¦. Again I donâ€™t have my notes with me but rules were in place as to how Germany was done twice. I.e. you canâ€™t move German troops or aircraft into Southern Europe then move them again in Germanyâ€™s second turn. The money is 10x the original. In the original game, UK was at 30 IPC at the start, with this you start at 300, the price of the items stayed the same â€“ battleships cost 24 Pickâ€™s etc.
The map had over 2000 pieces on it, so I had to create a computer program to play out a battle. With so many pieces it took forever to play out one battle (could have 100 â€“ 200 pieces in a single battle). So a computer program was necessary to make it easier and faster to do these battles, the program also had to follow the original format exactly. You simply enter in the amount of each attacking and defending units that would be in the battle, the program follows the protocol and has a random rolls generator to count up all the casualties. We changed it from a 6 sided dice to a 38 sided dice to allow for much more fine tuning of the odds for each of the units. I.e. to get a one on a six sided dice it is 1 out of 6 or 16.6666 %, 2 or less would be 33.3333%, 3or less would be 50% and so on. On a 38 sided dice to get a one would be 2.63%, 2 or less would be 5.26% and so on. Iâ€™m not going to go into why a 38 sided dice was decided on, Iâ€™ll just say we liked the odd numbers that the odds provided, to get 50 percent it would be 19 or less. I mean we could have choose a 80 sided dice or a 100 sided dice but didnâ€™t feel it was necessary to fine tune it that much, plus we wanted it to still be rather unpredictable outcomes that we felt higher side amounts may not provide you with. Yet enough sides that you would be able to fine tune it much better than 16 % at a time. Other rules were set up as well, a lot of the rules and techniques where put into place to prevent crazy arms races that just made the game unrealistic and also took strategy out of the game.
Other advances we used were paratroopers, under the water moves for submarines (invisible moves for subs, a secret log must be kept by that player and the subs must surface by at least the third turn to recharge the batteries.) Didnâ€™t want subs last position to be off the coast of Japan and end up off the coast of England, wanted it to be realistic. (the log prevented cheating of where you were going also keeps you informed of how many moves that were left, also if you didnâ€™t do your log right you could run aground). Fortified tank and Infantry positions (higher levels of defense) could be purchased. Recruitment centers and smaller more affordable but capture able and destroyable factories (used red hotel and green houses from Monopoly). The factories (red hotels) were a bit cheaper but had production limits. The recruitment centerâ€™s, (green houses), are purchasable. Infantry can be added directly to that area, (Russia got 2 of these in Siberia in its initial setup. Recruitment centers are not capture able nor are they destroyable, but if that country or territory is enemy occupied the other person canâ€™t use them. Destroyers were always the Holy Grail that I just could not find (or at least at a reasonable price) until now with the revised edition, I can buy the destroyers at a reasonable price and they will match the game properly. Destroyers were always considered for the game, they were included in the rolls generator program, just never had them till now. They are an obvious major improvement to the game; the game should have had them from the start.
Without my notebook on hand I canâ€™t remember everything that we were able to do, but if you have any questions I can get it and try to answer any questions with more detail. I will not say I am smarter than anyone else I just created this game because I liked it a lot and with a lot of fine tuning and trial and error allowed it to become what it is now. I played an Army colonel once (I won), he was very impressed with the game and recommended that I somehow market it or at least the computer program. I donâ€™t see how I could market it but I am glad I found this forum so that I could tell others of what I was able to do with it and in our opinion possibly one of the best massive board games to be played. Like I said it is massive and you really start to see why historical leaders did what they did as you play through the game, yes, the results are changeable and unpredictable but certain things allow you to recreate history in an incredible way. If you have any questions about the game please feel free to ask me either here or at my email address firstname.lastname@example.org At this time I am not prepared to sell or give away the computer program, sorry.