Having played Global 1940 a number of times I have discovered what many, if not all, in the community have before me. The game is unbalanced, the Axis have an advantage. I have perused the forums and found two generally accepted ways to re-balance the game. The first is an Allied bid and the second is the version three balance mod. I shy away from using a bid, because bids encourage Axis players to continue to use the same overused optimal strategies. Such as the German push to take Moscow and the Japanese turn one attack. A bid does nothing to discourage these strategies. I have enjoyed playing the balance mod because it encourages players to expand into underutilized sections of the map, but it still suffers from players doing the same scripted moves turn one.
I have two ideas that could help balance the game and encourage different strategies by giving players different starting options. They are as follows:
- Starting technology. Each major power (Germany, USSR, Japan, USA, UK and ANZAC, and Italy) gets one free technology before the start of the game. Selection is randomized with a dice roll, but the rolling player gets to choose the number rolled from either technology chart. Because certain technologies are overpowered, the opposing team gets a “veto,” that denies one technology but which allows the rolling player to select any neighboring technology on the chart. For example, Russia rolls a one for their technology and can select either heavy artillery or advanced submarines. The German player does not want to fight heavy artillery and so declares a veto, prohibiting Russia from selecting that technology. However, the Russian player can then select heavy bombers or advanced mechanized infantry (6), rockets or jet fighters (2), or still pick super submarines (1). In this way each power gets to select a technology that will help them in some way but not overpower them. (I learned in test play that long range Japanese aircraft are a nightmare).
These starting technologies can effect game play from the first turn. UK radar can make Sea Lion and the Calcutta Crush prohibitively expensive so the UK player can be more aggressive with his buys. Improved ship building can give the Italians a chance to build a navy etc. The game is different each time it is played and scripted moves face new challenges.
- Nations that have lost their capital can still collect 50% of their income (rounding up) and place units in industrial complexes they own.
Optimal Axis strategies are to kill Moscow and Calcutta. This rule allows Russia to retreat from Moscow if there is no hope of defending it, and still produce (limited) units. The Axis cannot just aim for a capital and destroy an entire nation by taking that one territory, they have to capture all its industrial centers. This rule also allows France to contribute in small ways too. A French airbase in Morocco or Syria have proven surprising useful. This rule does not change starting moves but can effect how players fight in mid to late game.
What do you think? Are these two rules enough to balance the game? My small group has had fun with them but we are not expert players. How do you change up the standard scripted turn one moves? I have one additional idea but have not play tested it:
- If Russia or USA are attacked before their first turn, the attacked Nation immediately receives a bonus 30 IPC which they can spend on their turn. This bonus goes to 20 IPC on turn two, 10 IPC on turn three, and 0 IPC on turn four. So if Japan attacks USA turn one, the USA gets 30 free IPC, and if Germany attacks Russia turn two, the USSR receives 20 free IPC. This is an immediate counter to aggressive Axis players but is not a guaranteed bid that encourages that same aggressive behavior.
I do not know if this idea would work and would appreciate the community’s input on all three house rules. My bottom line is that I do not want to change the map, set up, or core rules but I would like to play a game that is not the same every time.
Please tell me what you think and happy rolling.