Applying A&A:G Combat rules to A&A:R (and other A&A games)

  • Hey folks,

    My friends and I have playtested a few games of A&A:R with Guadalcanal combat and movement rules, and we had a very satisfying experience in doing so. There are a few obvious obstacles to converting the system over, most of which I hope you will find the answers to in the rules below…

    The biggest change is to the number of IPCs collected; unit costs are the same as in A&A:G, but you only collect 50% of your regular IPC income, rounded down [SBRs are also reduced to 50% effectiveness, but losses are rounded up instead].

    Movement is conducted in player order: 1.USSR, 2.Germany, 3.UK, 4.Japan, 5.US.
    The first player token moves one place each round, so Round 2 player order would be 1.Germany, 2.UK, 3.Japan, 4.US, 5.USSR. In Round 3, the UK would be have the first player token, and so forth.

    Movement is conducted in the following order (First Player moves all units of the stated type first):
    **(1) Transports [Load and Move]
    (2) Battleships
    (3) Aircraft Carriers
    (4) Cruisers
    (5) Destroyers [Load and Move]
    (6) Submarines
    (7) Infantry
    (8) Artillery
    (9) Armor
    (10) Anti-Aircraft Guns and Supply Tokens
    (11) Bombers
    (12) Fighters

    All units have Move: 1 except for Fighters which have Range: 2, and Bombers which have Range: 3.

    If a mechanized unit [all Air Units, all Sea Units, and Armor] begins its movement in a territory or a sea zone with a Supply Token in it, that unit can use that Supply Token to get Move: +1 or Range: +1 [maximum use = 1 Supply Token per 1 mechanized unit per turn]. Game starts with 1 Supply on Eastern US, Western US, UK, Russia, and 2 Supply on Germany and Japan.

    Control of territories is determined by who has the majority of land units there—in the case of a tie, the previous owner retains control. As long as a player has any land units in a territory, their industrial complex there can continue to produce units for them.

    [Some of the units from A&A:R don’t exist in the Guadalcanal version. Here are their converted forms…]

    Industrial Complex
    Air: 0
    Sea: 0
    Air: 0
    Cost: 5
    Special Ability: Can be built on any territority; next turn, it can produce a # of new units = that territory’s value.

    Armor [takes die spot #5 in the Attack Land Units row of the battle box]
    Air: 0
    Sea: 0
    Land: 2
    Cost: 2
    Special Abilities: Breakthrough

    Breakthrough: land units that share a territory with enemy land units cannot move [they are considered ‘locked in combat’]; land units with Breakthrough can move normally, even when they start their turn in a territory that contains enemy land units.

    [Resilience had to change somewhat to fit the new setting…]

    Resilience: units with Resilience are considered damaged on a roll of 2, instead of destroyed. Damaged units cannot move, and lose 1 die to each of their Land/Sea/Air rolls. Damaged units can be repaired by spending 1 Supply Token [that Supply Token must share a territory or sea zone with the damaged unit; however, sea units can be repaired by Supply Tokens on a territory adjacent the sea zone they occupy].

    [The following ability is an optional buff for subs, which makes them much more effective. Consider it the ‘Schnorkel’ weapons development… you can also apply it to Japanese fighters as a ‘Superior Fighters’ development…]

    Evasion: units with evasion can only be hit on a roll of ‘1’.

    I think that about covers all the big changes that had to be made. If you get the chance, try it out and let me know how it goes! I hope that you have as much fun as we did with the rules; it seriously reduced player ‘downtime’ and made the game feel much more like an integrated global conflict…


    • Round, Make It**

  • The AAG battle box system works well with AAP, you just need to insert “tank” on the wrap around box or we have also used regular AAP combat structure for the tank “heavy” India front and used AAG for the naval/air part.

  • Hey Legion,

    The AAP combat rules obviously give different unit attack/defence values than the AAG combat rules. This means, for example, that an AAG infantry does less, and therefore should cost less than an AAP infantry (the same goes for fighters and many other units).

    So, my question for you is: how do you match up the AAP and AAG economies in your games? In other words, if you use the AAG combat system, it seems that you are commited to the AAG cost system for units, which is inconsistent with the AAP IPC-based income system. This could mean big play balance issues, I would think. At the very least, I imagine that it leads to certain units never being purchased at all.

    In my AAR adaption of AAG combat rules, I use AAG unit costs and reduce the board-generated IPC income by 50%. This seems to work well for AAR. Have you tried to do something like this for AAP, or have you not felt the need to do so?



  • While I applaud innovation and such, I don’t think the scale of AAR lends itself to this sort of game play.  The only two things that I dislike strongly about AAR are the submarine rules that diminish the ability of subs and the Strategic bombing is only countered by AA fire and not fighters also.  The Airwar phase in this game fixes that very well and I would like to see that fixed in AAR.

  • D-saur,

    I’m not out to convert anyone… okay, I’m actually out to convert everyone… as to the enjoyable results of applying AAG rules to AAR (and, no doubt, AA50 as well). All I can say is: Give it a try for yourself! It gave our playgroup experience a new range of strategic alternatives and a level of responsivity impossible to capture in the usual turn-based AAR system. Frontlines were established, maintained for a turn or two, then decisively broken; strategic bombing worked exactly the way that many intuitively think it ought to; well-timed spoiling attacks function to tie up enemy infantry and artillery before they can be moved. In all, it captures the feel of an engrossing ‘total war’ much more convincingly than the (relatively) undifferentiated Risk-style battles that take place in AAR.


  • I like your idea.  For A&AP I was thinking a long the lines of using supplies as well. For instance lets say a battleship gets damaged during combat it has to retreat to the nearest friendly naval base and use a supply token in order to get repaired.

    supplies used for repairing ships

    AC 3 tokens
    BB 2 tokens
    DD 1 token

    If tokens are not available at the base then it has to wait until supplies arrive via transport.

    The ships docked could be vulnerable to attack.

    Any thoughts.

  • Hi Tvaryen,

    My thoughts (almost) exactly.

    One problem is that I don’t like that damaged units ‘magically’ transport themselves to the closest friendly naval base for repairs.

    Maybe instead of losing all movement, we ought to allow damaged units to move as normal back to a friendly naval base, but lose all combat and transport abilities until their repairs are completed. Until they are repaired, they can soak up a hit, but not return enemy fire! This could be the ‘vulnerability to attack’ you spoke of. That way, the owners of the ships have strong motivation to protect the damaged ships and get them back to port as soon as possible, which might make for interesting plays (one could recreate the Battle of the River Plate, for example).

    The other thing is that (I think that) all repairs of damaged ships should only cost 1 supply token. This is because so many IPCs are already invested in capital ships, and it’s so inconvenient getting supply tokens to them, that we ought to reward players for taking the time and care to repair them in the first place.

    I do think we’re on the same page on this matter, but perhaps not the same paragraph!



  • The two of you are getting pretty close to a tactical miniatures campaign game than a strategic game, with simplified combat.  You might want to take a look at some books on naval wargaming that cover running a campaign game.  I keep thinking of taking the Guadalcanal game resources and writing my own set of rules for the game, along with adding a PT Boat miniature and US APD fast transports.  I would not likely use the battle box, although it is a very interesting idea.

Log in to reply

20th Anniversary Give Away

In January 2000 this site came to life and now we're celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a prize giveaway of 30+ prizes. See this link for the list of prizes and winners.
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys
T-shirts, Hats, and More

Suggested Topics

  • 4
  • 65
  • 14
  • 8
  • 12
  • 7
  • 2
  • 1
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys