Are they good rules? fun, balancing, handicap, realism, …?
They seem to add a touch of realism. I regard Axis & allies as a wargame, WWII flavoured. It is not an simulation. However some of the basic options of the leaders of second world war are the same ( Attack russia or not, Germany or Japan first?, Pacific or Europe?..) Tinkering with the rules ( who hasn 't? ) leads easily to unbalanced games. The game has to be kept balanced and fun to play (even with the crazy, unhistorical moves).
Closed Bosporus: a handicap for the axis. It limits the options for Italy. And the other straits? Implementing rules for those as well seriously alters the game (esp. Gibraltar & Kattegat & The Channel and also Kra, Hormuz) If you feel that Russia is too weak you ca use it. (IMHO Russia is handicapped with the defense of three factories and very vulnerable in 1942).
Maybe you can consider “running the gauntlet”-rules when trying to force straits: More hazardous if AA and air units are present in the adjacent land territories. (remember the channel dash of the Kriegsmarine, Das Boot and the Dardanelles disaster in WWI).But then there is still a neutral Turkey.
Escorting fighters: On of the things i missed in A&A is not to have the option to wage a “Battle of the atlantic” and a strategic air offensive. The rules for submarines are the best yet but still there is something missing. Submarines schould be freely on the prowl; a few are pain in the ass, a lot are potentiol war winners. bothe sides have to devote substantial resources if one side decides to wage this war. The same for a bombing campaign.
The suggested optional rules for fighter escorts are not very clear. I quote them here. The boxes below are from me.
Additional Optional Rules
The following are additional optional rules that can be used in your games if all players agree.
Dardanelles Closed to Sea Movement
In order to maintain its neutrality, Turkey closed the narrow straights linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, permitting no naval passage by any belligerent nation on either side. No sea units may move into or out of sea zone 16, however air units may move through this sea zone freely.
Fighter Escorts and Interceptors
Fighters can participate in strategic bombing raids. Attacking fighters may escort and protect the bombers, and they can originate from any territory, range permitting. Any or all defending fighters based in a territory that is strategically bombed can participate in the defense of the industrial complex. The number of fighters that will defend is decided after the attacker’s Combat Movement phase is completed and before the Combat phase begins.
After antiaircraft fire is resolved against the attacking air units, if there are any defending fighters an air battle occurs between the attacking and defending air units. This combat is resolved in the same way as a normal combat, with a few exceptions. The fighters have an attack value of 1 and a defense value of 2, and the bombers have no attack value. In addition, the combat lasts for only one round. After the battle, any surviving bombers proceed to carry out the raid as normal.
Fighters participating as either an escort or a defender cannot participate in other battles during that turn. Defending interceptors must return to their original territory. If that territory is captured, the fighters may move one space to land in a friendly territory or on a friendly aircraft carrier. This movement occurs after all of the attacker’s combats have been resolved and before the attackers Noncombat Move phase begins. If no such landing space is available, the fighters are lost.
| 1 ) Attacker is the player carrying out the bombing raid
Attacker 1 -
Defender 2 -
| 2 ) Attacker is the player defending his factories (attacking the bombers, defended by escorts)
Attacker 1 -
Defender 2 1