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Advanced Rules Set



  • I just finished creating a website with an advanced rules set for a WWII strategy game. Notable differences between this rules set and Axis and Allies:

    • Instead of having offense and defense values, units have anti-land, anti-naval, anti-air, and anti-industrial combat values

    • Fighters are specialized for anti-air, fighter bombers for anti-land and anti-naval, and strategic bombers for anti-industrial attacks.

    • Fighters represent the main defense against enemy strategic bombing attacks.

    • Individual nations have unique advantages and disadvantages, based on my interpretation of their historical strengths and weaknesses. Discussion about my interpretation of those strengths and weaknesses is welcome.

    • Each nation has its own list of technologies available for research. For example, the T-34-85 tech is only available to the Soviet Union, the jet can only be researched by Germany, and the Superfortress can only be discovered by the U.S. Technologies are researched by paying a set price, not by buying dice and hoping for good luck.

    • Territories change in value throughout the game. Industrializing a territory increases its value; while starvation, scorched earth tactics, and strategic bombing raids are each capable of permanently reducing its value.

    • Many kinds of units have multiple hitpoints. However, once you have allocated a given category of hit to a unit (anti-land, anti-air, etc.), you must continue to allocate that kind of hit to it until combat ends, or the unit is destroyed.

    • Tanks are intended to absorb enemy punishment, while artillery is good at dishing that punishment out.

    • Infantry are produced by using manpower points and a small number of IPCs; whereas other units are purchased strictly through IPCs. This forces nations to employ most of their IPCs to non-infantry purchases.

    • The Allies have a large advantage in available manpower points, as well as in industrial capacity. I’ve had to fudge other aspects of the game in an Axis friendly way to create a balanced game that’s still relatively consistent with the overall historical feel of WWII.

    • Nations are required to retain transports in specific sea zones to avoid economic penalties. This means that the U.S. cannot simply abandon the Pacific, unless it is willing to sustain a massive reduction in its income. Britain (Indian Ocean and Atlantic) and Japan (Pacific) are also vulnerable to commerce warfare.

    Available technologies and other advantages and disadvantages mean different nations are specialized in different things. Germany and the U.S.S.R. are the best at land war; though the United States can close much of that gap later in the game. Germany has the best air units; though American units are second. In many ways, American air units are actually superior to their German counterparts. Japan is relatively unimpressive at land war, but (initially) has good technology for waging an air/sea war. However, improvements to Japan’s naval and air units are less dramatic than analogous improvements to their British and American counterparts.



  • i quickly looked over your website and the rules seem very interesting, it probalby would not be so hard to incorporate those rules into the AA50 map, but it is important that your game has its own map. How detailed do want the map to be? Judging by the movment range of the aircraft it would be similar to a regular axis and allies game. Perhaps you could use all the terriotores from the Europe and pacific axis and allies and use the AA50 boards terriotories to fill in the other parts of the world

    Another interesting idea for a map would be one that looks down from the north pole so that the north pole is at the center, although the southern hemispehre would be really distorted so thats not a good idea

    also do you want the US divided like in a&a or in the center perhaps. i guess i prefer the A&A presentation

    I’ll try to read your rules in detail and report what I think. also if you get a map i would love to talk about what territories should be considered.
    I dont have any map making program skills, but many people on this forum do



  • also i did not see a reference to a start date?
    but flame and steel is a really cool name and i love the hardened infantry peice



  • have you thought about starting the game in early 1940 and perhaps adding France or Italy to the mix.

    I have always wanted a 1940 axis and allies type game with Panzer IIs tearing up the french country side,  i think it would increase the distictivness of your game.

    anyways i also like how all of your rules feel hisotrical and i can tell you have a good understanding of world war II, yet you also leave room for intersting varations on history like a nazi space program!



  • another idea, have you thaught about adding rules or a unit for airborne operations since they were one of the major new developments in warfare. perhaps you could have an airborne units or tech to illistrate this.

    also what about having a tech for increaded mechanization in the different armies or some way to simulate how the way armies moved was different and changed over the course of the war



  • @Emperor_Taiki:

    have you thought about starting the game in early 1940 and perhaps adding France or Italy to the mix.

    I have always wanted a 1940 axis and allies type game with Panzer IIs tearing up the french country side,  i think it would increase the distictivness of your game.

    anyways i also like how all of your rules feel hisotrical and i can tell you have a good understanding of world war II, yet you also leave room for intersting varations on history like a nazi space program!

    I’ve thought of a variant which involves the addition of Italy, Romania, and Finland. Italy has four or five manpower points, but it’s plagued with the “light infantry” “light tanks” and “inefficient manufacturing” techs. Romanian and Hungarian infantry are lumped together in the Romania category (no offense to Hungarians intended!) and are roughly equivalent to Soviet infantry. I’ve lumped the Baltic States and Norway in with Finland, and have given them infantry roughly analogous to Germany’s. None of those three nations are allowed to send lend-lease aid to anyone, and they are considered “close allies” of each other and of Germany.

    I hadn’t considered a 1940 variant, but if this rules set catches on, hopefully someone will implement one. Game balance might be tricky, but could potentially be addressed if the U.S. stayed neutral throughout the game. (Or it could just be a passive source of lend-lease aid.)

    Edit: I just updated the Flames and Steel website to include an optional variant with Romania, Italy, and Finland as separate nations.



  • @Emperor_Taiki:

    another idea, have you thaught about adding rules or a unit for airborne operations since they were one of the major new developments in warfare. perhaps you could have an airborne units or tech to illistrate this.

    also what about having a tech for increaded mechanization in the different armies or some way to simulate how the way armies moved was different and changed over the course of the war

    I’d thought about the idea of airborne tech, which I think would be appropriate for a map carved into very small pieces. I could envision some little place–such as Crete or Cyprus–taken over by paratroopers. The map I envision would have roughly as many territories as AA50; which may not be quite small enough to justify paratroopers. But I’d have no objection to having it included as an optional rules variant.

    As far as increased mechanization–I’d love to be able to figure out how to include that in a way which did not unduly complicate my rules set. (You have no idea how many good ideas I’ve discarded in order to get things as simple as they are!) What I’d like to do is create two additional kinds of resources: raw materials and oil. The amount of oil available would determine the optimal level of mechanization for your army. Of course, a nation with little available oil, such as Germany, should be able to build synthetic oil manufacturing facilities.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to translate this into game terms. Which may not be a bad thing, because the Axis has enough problems already, without the Allies’ oil advantage being thrown in for good measure.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    @Emperor_Taiki:

    have you thought about starting the game in early 1940 and perhaps adding France or Italy to the mix.

    I have always wanted a 1940 axis and allies type game with Panzer IIs tearing up the french country side,  i think it would increase the distictivness of your game.

    anyways i also like how all of your rules feel hisotrical and i can tell you have a good understanding of world war II, yet you also leave room for intersting varations on history like a nazi space program!

    I’ve thought of a variant which involves the addition of Italy, Romania, and Finland. Italy has four or five manpower points, but it’s plagued with the “light infantry” “light tanks” and “inefficient manufacturing” techs. Romanian and Hungarian infantry are lumped together in the Romania category (no offense to Hungarians intended!) and are roughly equivalent to Soviet infantry. I’ve lumped the Baltic States and Norway in with Finland, and have given them infantry roughly analogous to Germany’s. None of those three nations are allowed to send lend-lease aid to anyone, and they are considered “close allies” of each other and of Germany.

    I hadn’t considered a 1940 variant, but if this rules set catches on, hopefully someone will implement one. Game balance might be tricky, but could potentially be addressed if the U.S. stayed neutral throughout the game. (Or it could just be a passive source of lend-lease aid.)

    Edit: I just updated the Flames and Steel website to include an optional variant with Romania, Italy, and Finland as separate nations.

    I like Italy, but the way you have incorporated Finland and Romania/Hungary is very unhistorical.  all of norway the baltic states and greece were under direct germany control and this was also true for most of Yugoslavia.  having obviously ahistorical rules in your game is just out of place.  I like the idea of adding Finland and Romania but lets not put them on steroids.

    also i think the rule set would have a lot easeir time of catching on if it had a different start date. the beuty about a spring 1940 start is that you have avoided all the scripted and boring moves of 1939, but it is still early in the war. Also if your going to go through the trouble of changing all the ipc values and adding new resources to the game, you might aswell add some new territories and France



  • @Emperor_Taiki:

    I like Italy, but the way you have incorporated Finland and Romania/Hungary is very unhistorical.  all of norway the baltic states and greece were under direct germany control and this was also true for most of Yugoslavia.  having obviously ahistorical rules in your game is just out of place.  I like the idea of adding Finland and Romania but lets not put them on steroids.

    I’ll agree that putting Norway and the Baltic States under Finnish rather than German control is . . . a bit of a stretch. I had three choices here:

    1. Give Finland one territory (itself) and one manpower point.
    2. Carve the map up into smaller pieces than I’d originally envisioned
    3. Stretch things a little to make Finland a little more important.

    I chose option 3, at least for now. I’m open to suggestions on how to improve that aspect of it.

    I’ll grant that most of Yugoslavia and Greece were under German control. However, Romania and Hungary were independent. “East Balkans” is my euphemism for Romania, and “West Balkans” means Hungary. If the map were carved into smaller pieces, then Germany could be given the Yugoslav and Greek portion of the Balkans, and Romania could be given the Romanian and Hungarian portions.
    @Emperor_Taiki:

    also i think the rule set would have a lot easeir time of catching on if it had a different start date. the beuty about a spring 1940 start is that you have avoided all the scripted and boring moves of 1939, but it is still early in the war. Also if your going to go through the trouble of changing all the ipc values and adding new resources to the game, you might aswell add some new territories and France

    I hope that people make a lot of mods for this game. Different maps. Different techs. Additional nations (such as France). Modifications to existing techs and existing units. New units.

    For example, someone could throw in a torpedo bomber: a plane that’s better against naval targets than a fighter bomber would be, but less good against land targets. Or a medium bomber: kind of a hybrid between a fighter bomber and a strategic bomber.

    I have the feeling that whatever default version of the game I create will not necessarily be the best possible mod.

    To address your specific suggestion–I’ve played an Axis and Allies variant which includes France. It’s an excellent variant, but adding in France doesn’t help that much. Germany has to take it quickly, because otherwise it’s doomed in the long struggle against the economic might of the Allies. Taking Paris very early on has become a routine German move. My map treats France as a single territory, so the battle of France would be considerably less interesting than the variant I’ve played. Considering all the economic strength I’ve given the U.S. and U.S.S.R., Germany’s need to quickly conquer France would be at least as great as is the case in the variant I’ve played.

    But while I don’t see a way around these problems–at least not now–someone who puts enough time and thought into creating a good 1940 scenario might. If you want to develop a scenario with France, don’t let me stand in your way. I can’t possibly think of every viable mod, and I love the idea of other people experimenting with the basic rules concepts to create things I hadn’t thought of.



  • another note, i think the Finnish winter war and molotav cocktail ability and the UK’s ultra+radar tech should only apply when they are defending becasue it just does not make sence if it helps them when they are attacking. and the ultra+radar should only wen their are air bases in the terriotry

    And Italy not being able to move into western europe and fight with german troops in the soveit union is a weird rule  seeing as many Italians were garrisoned at the beaches of Normandy in static divisions and even more Italians fought in the Soveit Union with Germany and other allies



  • my suggestion is to not add new major resources that become just as important or replace IPCs like metal, coal, and oil. Becasue then you have to have a chart that represent industrial capacity with wierd formuals nobody likes.
    in my experice adding one major resource equals in additonal complexity about five new units each with a unique special ability



  • @Emperor_Taiki:

    another note, i think the Finnish winter war and molotav cocktail ability and the UK’s ultra+radar tech should only apply when they are defending becasue it just does not make sence if it helps them when they are attacking. and the ultra+radar should only wen their are air bases in the terriotry

    I agree–especially with regard to the British Ultra + Radar tech. (One could argue that Finnish soldiers could still use Molotov cocktails even when on offense.) However, my rules set does not allow units to have different values for offense and defense. Maybe I should rename the British tech “Spitfire.”

    @Emperor_Taiki:

    And Italy not being able to move into western europe and fight with german troops in the soveit union is a weird rule  seeing as many Italians were garrisoned at the beaches of Normandy in static divisions and even more Italians fought in the Soveit Union with Germany and other allies

    Okay . . . I may have more thinking to do there. (The optional rules variant with Italy et al is a relatively recent addition to the rules set.) My fear was that, without that rule in place, all Italian infantry would simply be thrown away as cannon fodder against the Soviet Union or other Allies. Which would not have been historically accurate; as Italy’s main focus was on North Africa and its war against Britain. But you’re correct to say that some Italians did, in fact, serve on the eastern front.

    Probably the best way to fix this problem is to give Italy three transports in the Mediterranean, perhaps to make Africa and the Middle East a little more valuable, and to ensure that few if any non-Italian Axis transports are in the Mediterranean. That would likely tempt the Axis player into sending most of his Italian strength into Africa.

    @Emperor:

    my suggestion is to not add new major resources that become just as important or replace IPCs like metal, coal, and oil. Becasue then you have to have a chart that represent industrial capacity with wierd formuals nobody likes.

    I agree, which is why I haven’t added them. And I’m very unlikely to add them in the future, as much as I’m tempted to do so. Too much complexity will ruin any otherwise good rules set.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    Probably the best way to fix this problem is to give Italy three transports in the Mediterranean, perhaps to make Africa and the Middle East a little more valuable, and to ensure that few if any non-Italian Axis transports are in the Mediterranean. That would likely tempt the Axis player into sending most of his Italian strength into Africa.

    Yes definently, make the mediteranian a  more important theater, even in the Europe A&A this theater is not important at all and it is al about the eastern front which is quiet a boring theater  becasue it uses less that half the games units. Who cares if 20 million Russians were killed, its boring if they are killed exactly the same way.

    I would suggest even adding more territories. Add tunisia, sardinia, looks like you have already added sicily but allow land movement between Italy and sicily so that the inland is accually important, add malta, Greece, and split Liybia into Tripolitania and Cyrencia. plus add two more sea zones. also if this is in 1940 add Crete and somaliland and vichy France. There are some idiots that add Moracco which is the worst terriotry to add because algeiria and morraco wher both captured in torch at the same time while their was a huge battle in tunisa

    I dont know if you have VCs in your game but if you do make Tunis a vicotry city. Many will say you should add cairo, but this leads to is the british player building up defence in egypt which is not hisotrical as it was  the british who carried out the first offensive in the desert.

    also about units having defence bonus’s. I dont think just becasue the base units do not have explict defensive or offensive advantages does not mean you shouldn’t have tech or other modifiers that are bias torwards defence. You would argee with me that in war defendes have many advatages over the attacker and that defence is much cheaper that offence.



  • more toughts

    shouldn’t the Russians have the same light infantry rules as the Italians, you know, becasue of the purges

    For Finalnd you could add the vyborg territory which incompasses the land ceded by Finland to the Soveits in the winter war. This terriotry is in A&A Europe and if you also make leningrad a sperate territory from Karlia if helps defend finland.
    Once Finland has a second terriotry if would not need to also control Norway and the blatic states.

    I would also think a third finish terriotry in northern finland would also add a bit of excitment to the game



  • @Emperor_Taiki:

    more toughts

    shouldn’t the Russians have the same light infantry rules as the Italians, you know, becasue of the purges

    For Finalnd you could add the vyborg territory which incompasses the land ceded by Finland to the Soveits in the winter war. This terriotry is in A&A Europe and if you also make leningrad a sperate territory from Karlia if helps defend finland.
    Once Finland has a second terriotry if would not need to also control Norway and the blatic states.

    I would also think a third finish terriotry in northern finland would also add a bit of excitment to the game

    Changes I’ve made to the main rules set:

    • London’s value has been decreased by three, with that value going to Africa instead.
    • Britain’s “Ultra + radar” tech has been renamed “Spitfire,” because it works on both offense and defense.

    Changes I’ve made to the minor nations variant:

    • The Italians’ “Rebuild the Roman Empire” tech has been eliminated
    • Italy receives three transports in the Mediterranean.
    • The “North Finland” Territory has been created

    Changes I’m contemplating:

    • Adding in territories like Vyborg, as well as the African and Mediterranean territories you mentioned

    The scenario begins in the spring of 1942. While Soviet infantry fought poorly early in the war, by the spring of ‘42 they were fighting quite well. Not as well as the German infantry (on a man-for-man basis) but that was more a case of Germany fighting well than of the Soviets fighting badly. Witness the Soviet performance in the undeclared war between itself and Japan, or the Soviets’ invasion of Manchuria in 1945. The latter was seen by both sides as a prelude to any would-be Soviet invasion of Japan itself. Japanese resistance collapsed in the face of the Soviet onslaught.



  • @Emperor_Taiki:

    also about units having defence bonus’s. I dont think just becasue the base units do not have explict defensive or offensive advantages does not mean you shouldn’t have tech or other modifiers that are bias torwards defence. You would argee with me that in war defendes have many advatages over the attacker and that defence is much cheaper that offence.

    I’m loath to adopt this change for two reasons:

    • It adds extra complexity to the game.
    • Defense was not necessarily better than offense.

    It’s true that some areas of the world had natural defensive advantages. Italy was one such example, as Germany demonstrated after the fall of Mussolini. Parts of France were another. Leningrad and Stalingrad also come to mind due to the difficulties of urban warfare. It’s possible to build blockhouses in each of these areas.

    Other theaters were better suited to offense. North Africa comes to mind, especially because of the ease with which one can use the Sahara desert to outflank one’s enemy to the south. Offensives on the German/Soviet front were also often effective, because the large, wide-open spaces made it comparatively easy to encircle an enemy army. Germany won a number of such encirclement victories in the summers of '41 and '42, just as the Soviet Union won such a victory at Stalingrad.

    You may be tempted to point out that the Soviets used massive defensive installations at Kursk, and that these thwarted the German advance there. The Soviet defense was six layers deep, the Soviets had a 2:1 advantage or better in men and land units (such as artillery and tanks), and rough parity in planes. The reason why the Soviets’ defense was so effective was because the Kursk salient was a fairly obvious place for the Germans to attack. Knowing this, von Mannstein suggested an advance along the southern portion of the German-Soviet front, instead. Had his advice been followed, it’s likely the attack would have been successful, as were the German attacks in the summer of '41. But instead, Hitler chose to follow the advice of the majority of his General Staff: to go after the Kursk salient.

    In summary:
    Blockhouses = natural defensive advantages augmented by fortifications
    Attack + bad die rolls = doing something stupid, like ignoring the advice of one of the best generals to have ever lived (von Mannstein)
    Attack + neutral die rolls = A more normal battle along the German/Soviet front, which often involved the encirclement and destruction of large groups of defending soldiers.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    The scenario begins in the spring of 1942. While Soviet infantry fought poorly early in the war, by the spring of ‘42 they were fighting quite well. Not as well as the German infantry (on a man-for-man basis) but that was more a case of Germany fighting well than of the Soviets fighting badly. Witness the Soviet performance in the undeclared war between itself and Japan, or the Soviets’ invasion of Manchuria in 1945. The latter was seen by both sides as a prelude to any would-be Soviet invasion of Japan itself. Japanese resistance collapsed in the face of the Soviet onslaught.

    good point, i agree

    but i really think you should keep the radar tech aslong as it just aplies for defence of ICs or airbases, it really donst’ make sence that spitfires are so much better on offence.

    another idea is you could give air bases a greater defence



  • is their any chance you can show us or at least compare your map to the  A&A revised or AA50 map in detail.

    on the defence thing. radar was very important to the british and it only works on defence. Also if you want to keep the finnish molotov cocktail ability i would change the name to anti-tank rifles or weapons. It is really hard to transport molotovs as anyone can imagine.

    Also there are alot of other things that benfit defence besidies bunkers and hills. tactical reserves can be called up faster and you expend less ammunition. Given just a few hours defeneders can build concealment for infantry and armor. Many times attackers will never see the defenders of a prepared position until they are in the enemies trench. Also hull-down armor has many advantages against attacking armor, at least on a tactical level. these are just to name a few.



  • I’ve updated the site to include setup information and a partial attempt at a map. (The latter needs some work.) Probably so does the former, especially from a game balance perspective.

    The Spitfire was better in air-to-air combat than its Axis counterparts, at least early in the war. I’d like to give the British a separate, defensive bonus for air-to-air combat due to their radar tech, sector stations, and Ultra. However, this would add complexity to my combat system. And it’s not like the Allies need another advantage.

    The points you made about offense and defense are well-taken. But to compensate for some of those defensive advantages you mentioned, bear in mind that the attacker often has the advantage of surprise. Consider the invasions of France (in 1940 and again in 1944). In the former, the defenders expected Germany to revert to its Schlieffen Plan, and reacted accordingly. In 1944, German military planners had expected an attack on Calais; but instead the Allies invaded Normandy. It’s true that the defending Axis soldiers physically present in the Normandy vicinity had the defensive advantages you described. The same cannot be said about the larger, stronger Axis force in Calais. In both cases (1940 and 1944) being on the attack allowed the attacker to choose some weak point in the defense, to throw overwhelming force at that weak point, to break through, and to thereby nullify the defensive advantages that the majority of the defending force would otherwise have had.


  • '12

    Keep up the good work bro. You have some great ideas.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    The points you made about offense and defense are well-taken. But to compensate for some of those defensive advantages you mentioned, bear in mind that the attacker often has the advantage of surprise. Consider the invasions of France (in 1940 and again in 1944). In the former, the defenders expected Germany to revert to its Schlieffen Plan, and reacted accordingly. In 1944, German military planners had expected an attack on Calais; but instead the Allies invaded Normandy. It’s true that the defending Axis soldiers physically present in the Normandy vicinity had the defensive advantages you described. The same cannot be said about the larger, stronger Axis force in Calais. In both cases (1940 and 1944) being on the attack allowed the attacker to choose some weak point in the defense, to throw overwhelming force at that weak point, to break through, and to thereby nullify the defensive advantages that the majority of the defending force would otherwise have had.

    your making offence to powerful becasue the game already takes into account the attackers ability to concentrate all his forces at a defenders weakspot becasue… you can concentrate all your forces at the defenders weakspot.



  • These seem pretty cool, I’ll be sure to print the rules. I’m not seeing any rules for the Pacific though  😐



  • @onetthome:

    These seem pretty cool, I’ll be sure to print the rules. I’m not seeing any rules for the Pacific though  😐

    I appreciate the compliments from you and from Georgemak!

    I’m currently putting the final touches on another rules set–a more advanced one. As is also the case for the rules set under discussion, this rules set is designed with a global war in mind. But that being said, I wouldn’t object to a custom map designer creating a Pacific scenario.

    Every time I create a rules set like this, I try to build something generic enough that a custom map designer will have a lot of room in which to work. Working within the general framework, a custom map designer could create his own starting map, nations list, national advantages, disadvantages, and available technologies for each nation, starting unit setup, and other adjustments. The rules set is intended to give map designers plenty of room in which to exercise their creativity.

    But my greatest current need is for a software developer. If anyone here is a developer or knows a developer who might be interested in something like this, please PM me.


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