The War Game - Massive Axis and Allies Variant


  • 2019 Moderator

    We played The War Game yesterday for the first time.  Over all I am highly satisfied.  We set up a five player game, I drew Germany.  My first impression was that is was overwhelmingly complex.  After a turn or two with major mistakes I settled in.  On round one I lost France and almost lost my capital, due to extremely rapid expansion and getting used to the purchasing process.  Fortunately I recovered quickly from that.  The eastern front was a slugfest, with Russia coming out marginally better.  This was due primarily to massive amounts of lend lease.  The up side, if any, was that America played a very minor roll in Europe/Africa.  And when they did show up it was weak and late.  I was able to turn a drawn out marginal defeat into a spectacular long drawn out toss up, by invading Britain in a surprise sealion that left the allies with little to no counter.  I will post pic later.  Based on this game I have some comments:

    1. I can’t say enough about the map.  The size is spectacular.  The number and layout of the territories make for an intense complicated game.  It is easy to get blindsided and at first it was almost overwhelming.
    2. Easily playable for 6 or even 7 people.  Italy is individually playable and Germany can use the extra eyes on Europe.  China surprisingly looks playable to me.  With Generals and the Infantry placement rules China can actually fight back.
    3. The income collection puts a stop to trading dead zones.  If you don’t keep it for a turn you don’t get paid.  There are some loopholes with allied assistance but overall a great improvement.
    4. The addition of defensive retreat wasn’t used much, but I think that with experience it would be used more and it’s and interesting option.
    5. Using Generals was a blast, and really added something to the game by giving players the ability to emphasize key battles and territories.
    6. Naval pass through make it possible to be even sneakier and we had fun with it.
    7. Artillery, holy crap artillery is awesome in this game.  Artillery can target air and really changes the dynamic of battles.  Fighters end up being used much more cautiously.
    8. Naval build strats are quite different.  Aircraft carriers are not as dominant as before and destroyers are a great unit.  Battleships as well may actually be considered for purchase.
    9. I do not care for the Neutral rules.  I will be playing a couple more games to be sure, but I will probably go to a system of Armies for neutrals.  I prefer something similar to the system in World at War.
    10. Bombers in the base rules are very nice and I anticipate the allies particularly US making more Bombers in future games.  We need more games before I start using the advanced rules.
    11. The potential lend lease to Russia is really tough for Germany to overcome.  But this bears more study.

    I am no expert yet, but I can try to answer questions and offer oppinions on how the rules work and playability.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    More questions about the unit pieces; will they be available per country, or just as a complete set?

    And is there any chance we can order them in custom colours, for example Japanese doods in white?  Or maybe in “singed tangerine” for incorporation into A&A standard games?

    This will never happen unless you buy 2 copies of the game yourself. I told you if you sit on the fence and wait for nation specific units… then you will wait forever…

    And as i told you earlier and jeff… don’t sell any pieces separately until you recoup your original investment. He is going to follow this to defeat the people who think…" gee ill just do what i want anyway and wait for the pieces to be sold separately and get out of buying the game…"

    I can promise you if i keep hearing this i will use all my power to make it never possible to buy “just the pieces”

    Just buy the freeking game and get over it.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    9.  I do not care for the Neutral rules.  I will be playing a couple more games to be sure, but I will probably go to a system of Armies for neutrals.  I prefer something similar to the system in World at War.

    Jeff is working on something for that. His original intention was to keep them out of the game and only allow the neutrals under German occupation to have any play.

    The neutrals should have their own armies. I have some house rules for them and ill post that soon when the forum goes up.

    I would stay away from advanced rules until you got your strategy down.

    on the lend lease remember only USA can do it and they are limited to 1/3 of their total income… the first 15 IPC spend can be infantry but the 16th IPC onward must be ‘hardware’ —no infantry…

    USA can play a strong role against Japan. Also, you have to keep the German and Italian navy ready to counter the allies as they approach Europe… keep buying those subs and destroyers.  USA can upgrade the factory in Alaska and build a huge 1 turn fleet to attack Japan. Watch that.

    Get some more D12’s and use the long box to roll. Its perfect for a dice roller

    I really think the game is a great value for what you get. Especially for such a small time company.

    And now you also have nice tiger tanks for Bulge and for house games.


  • Customizer

    Ok, here’s a brief summary of my thoughts on the rules after reading through them again.

    For this post I’ll refrain from commenting on the map, except to ask why Eire has a Union flag printed on it?

    PLUS POINTS

    Italy added as new player. Good selection of colour, no nasty yellowy-greeny-tanny rubbish.  I prefer Italy to have it’s own turn, but I suppose this might handicap the Axis in Europe.

    Japanese & Soviet Xenophobia implemented.

    Collect income first.  As mentioned above this makes much more sense.

    Artillery support shot.  I’ve long advocated this, although for a heavy artillery piece.

    Battleship rules, i.e. damaged fight at 1/2, repair at IC/Naval base.  I’d dump the roll a dice for damage bit, though.

    Pass-through rule.  Makes sense, but not sure it needs to be quite this complex.

    Staggered arrival in battle, i.e. amphibious invaders held up by naval battles arriving late.  I use rules like this for Napoleonics and stuff, that is units in territory adjacent to a battle can attempt to march there to engage, and might arrive very late in the battle.  Not really applicable in WWII.

    MINUS POINTS
    (Note that these are not all criticisms, just a comparison with how I’d do things.)

    China added as independent power.  Can’t buy the idea of China building battleships.  Even if we use the fiction of a United China, it was far from an industrial power.  I much prefer the idea of rival Chinese factions controlled by the USSR and USA respectively.

    No Japanese-Soviet non-aggression pact.  This is essential if you want a game playing out anything like WWII.

    Major and minor factories.  Don’t see the need for this, just limit production to IPC income of the territory.

    Building factories; using captured complexes.  Just both completely wrong.  When France was liberated the new French army went back to war using American uniforms, vehicles and equipment.  It was more efficient to ship them across the Atlantic from established production lines than re-establish French production.

    Lend-Lease.  This seems too powerful, I prefer a more risky transport-IPC-via-convoy system which the Axis can actively intercept.

    As I’ve stated many times before I don’t like the non-combat-movement phase.  In war ALL movement of war material is a combat move.  I would limit this purely to aircraft landing, and train movement.

    Different unit costs per nation.  I prefer to reflect this in base IPC income levels.

    Artillery/AA gun hybrid.  No, sir.  The principle role of artillery was to soften up land defences, not shoot down aircraft.

    Tank blitz.  Can’t believe Jeff couldn’t come up with something better than the obsolete blitz move from official A&A. As I’ve detailed elsewhere something along the lines of a pass-through move for tanks simulates blitzkreig warfare nicely.

    Stop-drop transports.  Another hangover from ye ancient A&A manual that makes no sense.  WHY can’t a transport unload into two territories if able?

    Why can’t amphibious assaulting units (or defenders) retreat to sea if they have available transports?

    Order of battle.  Can’t find this in the rules, but why not just let the defender choose the order in which combats are resolved?  OK, after a few plays most people will dump the battleboard, but simultaneously fighting all adjacent battles must get hard to track, especially when considering pass-throughs.  Defender decides first eliminates the flanking attack menace much more simply.

    Infantry placement seems very powerful; I severely limit this ability with only a few designated depots to be used.

    It occurs to me that building ships at sea is absurd.  Ships should be built at an IC same as any other unit.  The NEXT turn you can “launch” the ship into a neighbouring sea zone, together with cargo if applicable, thus simulating the longer build time of warships.

    I agree with Dezrtfish, the pay-money-for-invading-neutrals rule seems like another vestigial leftover from classic.  We want neutral armed forces.

    The idea of tanks being wiped out by viscious sand dunes and angry mountain ranges is hilarious.  Prefer defensive bonuses in combat.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    China added as independent power.  Can’t buy the idea of China building battleships.  Even if we use the fiction of a United China, it was far from an industrial power.  I much prefer the idea of rival Chinese factions controlled by the USSR and USA respectively.

    They cant build those ships unless they spend all their money on a major factory and then spend all their money on the battleship that is more expensive than anybody else and will in fact require 2 turns to do it. Thats 3 turns no builds of infantry…and by that time Japan wins the war in China… THUS that is NEVER done or even CONCEIVED.  and we dont want to not allow what potentially could happen… nor do we want to piss of the Chinese.
    No Japanese-Soviet non-aggression pact.  This is essential if you want a game playing out anything like WWII.

    This is true. I have house rules to cover this. Jeff has some too and he will post them.

    Major and minor factories.  Don’t see the need for this, just limit production to IPC income of the territory.

    NO not true its very important because the types of units are limited by them and also that would not solve Germanys problem when they are left to bunker… if the IPC thing was imposed they would be left with more money and no place to build units.

    Building factories; using captured complexes.  Just both completely wrong.  When France was liberated the new French army went back to war using American uniforms, vehicles and equipment.  It was more efficient to ship them across the Atlantic from established production lines than re-establish French production.
    each turn is 1/2 year in that time it could get back to normal real quick. don’t agree.

    Lend-Lease.  This seems too powerful, I prefer a more risky transport-IPC-via-convoy system which the Axis can actively intercept.
    Yes but the game is not world in flames either . its introductory with a few new ideas.

    As I’ve stated many times before I don’t like the non-combat-movement phase.  In war ALL movement of war material is a combat move.  I would limit this purely to aircraft landing, and train movement.

    Thats what it becomes anyway

    Different unit costs per nation.  I prefer to reflect this in base IPC income levels.
    NO because it does not reflect that nations actual ability to raise infantry based on its population . A Russian life is cheaper than a British.

    Artillery/AA gun hybrid.  No, sir.  The principle role of artillery was to soften up land defences, not shoot down aircraft.

    Artillery in this game represent all types of which AA guns are a form of Artillery

    Tank blitz.  Can’t believe Jeff couldn’t come up with something better than the obsolete blitz move from official A&A. As I’ve detailed elsewhere something along the lines of a pass-through move for tanks simulates blitzkreig warfare nicely.

    Blitzkreig rule does not work for territories that are as large as entire nations. Perhaps in an operational level game.

    Stop-drop transports.  Another hangover from ye ancient A&A manual that makes no sense.  WHY can’t a transport unload into two territories if able?

    They cannot invade two different territories… they can perform bridging however.

    Why can’t amphibious assaulting units (or defenders) retreat to sea if they have available transports?

    You cant have everything for 100.00 bucks

    Order of battle.  Can’t find this in the rules, but why not just let the defender choose the order in which combats are resolved?  OK, after a few plays most people will dump the battleboard, but simultaneously fighting all adjacent battles must get hard to track, especially when considering pass-throughs.  Defender decides first eliminates the flanking attack menace much more simply.

    You didn’t read the rules correctly, The attacker is obligated to ask the defender to make retreat first and the defender can also perform partial retreats. This aspect of the game is very good.

    Infantry placement seems very powerful; I severely limit this ability with only a few designated depots to be used.

    Whats powerful about it? its basically like Revised

    It occurs to me that building ships at sea is absurd.  Ships should be built at an IC same as any other unit.  The NEXT turn you can “launch” the ship into a neighbouring sea zone, together with cargo if applicable, thus simulating the longer build time of warships.

    The game does not feature those dreaded 5,000 ports because its assumed that any SZ adjacent from the factory can support a port and launch ships. Ships are only built at factories, while minor factories cant build carriers and battleships. Its much easier than your system.

    I agree with Dezrtfish, the pay-money-for-invading-neutrals rule seems like another vestigial leftover from classic.  We want neutral armed forces.

    The idea of tanks being wiped out by viscious sand dunes and angry mountain ranges is hilarious.  Prefer defensive bonuses in combat.


  • 2019 Moderator

    @Imperious:

    Jeff is working on something for that. His original intention was to keep them out of the game and only allow the neutrals under German occupation to have any play.

    The neutrals should have their own armies. I have some house rules for them and ill post that soon when the forum goes up.

    I will probably come up with my own neutral armies, I also think there should be a diplomatic conquest for the us in S.America.  In the game I played the US invaded all of the neutrals in the West Hemi and gained a huge chunk of cash.
    @Imperious:

    I would stay away from advanced rules until you got your strategy down.

    I agree completely, afew games at least
    @Imperious:

    on the lend lease remember only USA can do it and they are limited to 1/3 of their total income… the first 15 IPC spend can be infantry but the 16th IPC onward must be ‘hardware’ —no infantry…

    Yes, but around turn 5 the us economy was at 170 or so and they were giving 50+ to Russia. So that’s an additional 3 Inf and 2 Arm each turn…  Also Russia was buying artillery with lend lease and that rendered my (German) airforce impotent on the eastern front.
    @Imperious:

    USA can play a strong role against Japan. Also, you have to keep the German and Italian navy ready to counter the allies as they approach Europe… keep buying those subs and destroyers.  USA can upgrade the factory in Alaska and build a huge 1 turn fleet to attack Japan. Watch that.

    The US slowly built a Pac Fleet, but it realy had little effect, like I said they were dumping serious money into lend lease.

    Also I did build the med fleet and used it to suprize the UK, now the speek German in London. 🙂
    @Imperious:

    Get some more D12’s and use the long box to roll. Its perfect for a dice roller

    I really think the game is a great value for what you get. Especially for such a small time company.

    And now you also have nice tiger tanks for Bulge and for house games.

    I agree need more dice and it is more than worth the cost.  You should suggest that Jeff post here, I tried to email him but it didn’t go through.  I’d like to see starting placement for a 1939 version with maybe some special diplomatic rules for declarations of war.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes, but around turn 5 the us economy was at 170 or so and they were giving 50+ to Russia. So that’s an additional 3 Inf and 2 Arm each turn…  Also Russia was buying artillery with lend lease and that rendered my (German) airforce impotent on the eastern front.

    The Americans are limited on what they can send to the Soviets on the first turn. Thats posted on the log in sheet thats on the site. I remember some money going to UK, China and Soviets… about 24 to the soviets… also USA usually can send about 49 bucks total to her allies.  Germany also can lend money to Italy, but Italian units cost more


  • Customizer

    I’m not suggesting that Lende-Lease to Russia is unrealistic; US aid undoubtedly made a huge difference on the eastern front.  But in game terms doesn’t it mean that Germany either

    a) bangs it’s head against a red brick wall that gets rebuilt with American cash every turn, or
    b) is forced to go all-out to KO Russia early on at the expense of other fronts, or see the Soviets get too strong

    The main point of the Soviet Xenophobia rule is to prevent the UK/US from piling up that huge infantry stack in Karelia to defend Russia.  If they can just buy units for Russia the problem comes back in another form.  As IL has admitted, Russia is better defended by being bigger (in terms of areas) so that it’s not a simple question of each side building up the biggest stack possible to take/defend Moscow.

    On the subject of start time of 1942 depicted in the photos, there appear to be some anomalies.  Italian East Africa not UK occupied?  Algeria German occupied, but not other French colonies?  Why isn’t the strangely named “West Africa” (Niger and Chad) UK occupied?
    Phillipines Japanese occupied, but not Burma?  No Japanese in Peking? Or is that a British opium salesman standing there.
    Maybe it represents the situation in some strange 13th month of 1942 when everything went haywire.

    Sweden is worth HOW MUCH?!  That’s more than the combined Volga-Don-Caucasus region!!!

    Spain is worth Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

    Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman were just desert.  Not even much oil at this time.

    At least India is given a respectable value, even if it is shorn of Pakistan and needs at least two more divisions.

    What is that rebel flag doing in the north west corner of the board?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    China has only 2 ships (potentially) a sub and a destroyer… so no they cant build a BB or CV even if they wanted too.

    I’m not suggesting that Lende-Lease to Russia is unrealistic; US aid undoubtedly made a huge difference on the eastern front.  But in game terms doesn’t it mean that Germany either

    a) bangs it’s head against a red brick wall that gets rebuilt with American cash every turn, or
    b) is forced to go all-out to KO Russia early on at the expense of other fronts, or see the Soviets get too strong

    This is not what happens… Soviets fall in 4-7 turns… in fact they only last longer about 20% of the time. Thats one of the flaws i pointed out regarding not enough Russian territories to retreat to.

    The main point of the Soviet Xenophobia rule is to prevent the UK/US from piling up that huge infantry stack in Karelia to defend Russia.  If they can just buy units for Russia the problem comes back in another form.  As IL has admitted, Russia is better defended by being bigger (in terms of areas) so that it’s not a simple question of each side building up the biggest stack possible to take/defend Moscow.

    Soviets still play even of Moscow falls… but everything west of Moscow has most of the income so basically their are much more limited once Moscow falls.

    On the subject of start time of 1942 depicted in the photos, there appear to be some anomalies.  Italian East Africa not UK occupied?  Algeria German occupied, but not other French colonies?  Why isn’t the strangely named “West Africa” (Niger and Chad) UK occupied?
    Phillipines Japanese occupied, but not Burma?  No Japanese in Peking? Or is that a British opium salesman standing there.
    Maybe it represents the situation in some strange 13th month of 1942 when everything went haywire.

    Yes… the map represents 1939 so that can be played… the 1942 scenario is the world with germany having overrun most of Europe. West Africa is under vichy control.

    AS i keep saying look at the set up sheets the game starts in like Jan-June 42…Japan has already taken some places but not others.
    As i pointed out before the territories are 1939 borders. IN the first half of 1942 they were getting started. Since the turn represents the entire first half of the year everything you mention is safe from criticism and all other issues are play balance.

    Sweden is worth HOW MUCH?!  That’s more than the combined Volga-Don-Caucasus region!!!

    its neutral so dont worry about it. When you buy it you can change it to 1

    Spain is worth Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

    its neutral so dont worry about it. When you buy it you can change it to 1

    Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman were just desert.  Not even much oil at this time.
    its neutral so dont worry about it. When you buy it you can change it to 1

    At least India is given a respectable value, even if it is shorn of Pakistan and needs at least two more divisions.

    The next version will have India with 10,000 ports and 5.5 million territories and 200 IPC

    What is that rebel flag doing in the north west corner of the board?

    What?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKmfmMN_x0Y

    There is a movie version coming out eventually. Right now this offers a small token of what may follow.

    Both the play and the game were created basically simultaneously.



  • omg
    I once thought about making a video for our project too lol


  • Customizer

    Scenario 1942 - January, right?

    Why have the Brits given Abyssinia back to italy?

    If that Brit inf in Peking isn’t an opiium salesman, what is he?  And where are the Japanese?

    What are all those British units doing in Eire?

    Those rules modules; have they been removed or am I looking in the wrong place?



  • your right IL. :lol: :lol:  i thought you were exgagrating. central us looks elongated but other than that everything looks perfect on the war game’s map. flahman’s map is looks very hand drawn.


  • Customizer

    Thank you, oh Imperious Leader, for not answering any of my questions.  Except one.  Wrongly:

    So no Brits in Eire?  This chart is wrong, then:

    http://www.thewargame.com/SetupCharts/SetupCharts1942.htm

    as are the setup photos, so please ask Jeff to remove them from the site; they are very confusing.

    Same thing regarding Italian units still in East Africa long after the last one surrendered.

    I’m aware the map is 1939, apart from no Japanese yellow in “Peking”, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai and south Sakhalin.  Doesn’t effect any of my questions.
    Anytime from January to June 1942; still no sign of an Italian comback in Somalia…

    As to the general topography, I still think the point of having a map this big is defeated if Europe is so small you still need to use those hated blow-up boxes we all thought we’d seen the last of.  The central strip of the map running from Karelia downwards is too compressed, leadng to European Russia being too small to accomodate those extra territories even you admit are needed to stop the German-Soviet conflict being more than a simple slogging match.  Also makes the middle east too small; probably prompting the addition of Sinai to Jordan that looks so wrong.

    As I’ve said before, my maps are schematic; they are drawn simply to illustrate a lot of information.  I’ve never said they’d actually be printed out as I’ve shown them.

    Good job I downloaded those modules already, then!  😉

    And Spain is worth whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?   😮



  • You two should work things out lol.
    Be clear extra clear about wording.
    And one question at a time.
    Maybe.


  • Customizer

    OK, lets give it a try:

    Why do the setup photos and unit sheets have British units in Eire when the Irish leader De Valera refused to allow the Allies to use even Irish port facilities, despite Churchill’s offer to hand over control of Northern Ireland after the war?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Why do the setup photos and unit sheets have British units in Eire when the Irish leader De Valera refused to allow the Allies to use even Irish port facilities, despite Churchill’s offer to hand over control of Northern Ireland after the war?

    Allied mechanics were allowed to retrieve crash landed Allied aircraft. That infantry unit represents this. And since an infantry unit has no set military designation ( division, brigade, corps etc).

    Besides northern Ireland and Dublin were bombed twice by Germany.



  • ……  😮 …WOW!!! Yea I know I’m late on the subject…but Wow! This is like a dream come true of a board, the perfect gift. My birthday is this wensday and I got a $185 PSP, I MUCH rather of goten this monster of game! That is if I can find an unused table/tables in my house that it would fit on…  😮  😄

    I feel like a kid in a candy shop…with only a penny to buy anything.



  • Had a browse of the website.
    If there are misprints should quickly add some side notes.

    Hope he makes back his investment soon and continue to do what he had planned for the project.

    I think some small improvements to the website would help. Say it would be nice to add yet further photos.
    Imagine photos of a HUGE dinning table with everything setup and all manuals etc laid down…with players dressed up in army hats :mrgreen:


  • 2019 Moderator

    I’lll have to look at my charts when I get home, I don’t remember any troops in Erie.  There were troops in East Africa, but if yo udon’t like them don’t put them there.  As I said before the map is worth the cost of this game.  And I’ve played it, Europe gets crowded, but there is enough room for everything.



  • Europe always gets crouded, atleast whenever I play AAR.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The Republic of Ireland was adamantly neutral and the “mechanics” you mention are hardly equivalent to a corps.

    I already told you the infantry don’t represent any specific label of military organization. In the case of Eire its just those Mechanics and potential volunteers.

    So I hardly think Eire can be considered less neutral than for example Spain

    nobody said anything about their neutrality.



  • I see on ebay you can already buy just the pieces for “The War Game”. A pity because you should buy the game, if you have the money, to support the guy who put out an awesome product.


  • Customizer

    Here’s a link:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Axis-and-Allies-Army-Pieces-from-The-War-Game_W0QQitemZ280140764908QQihZ018QQcategoryZ2558QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Seems land/air, and naval pieces sold separately.

    Presumably the lists reflect the actual breakdown of units in the game.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    There you go… now you can no longer complain about Chinese battleships because they don’t have any. Too bad for you.


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