Axis & Allies is a classic game of war, economics, and global strategy. Victory goes not only to the team that conquers its opponents on the field of battle, but also to the individual player who seizes the most enemy territory.
Starting in October 1940 gives all the powers a lot of strategic options. The Axis and USSR could remain at peace with one another, the Axis looking for victory in Africa, India, and Great Britain. Japan and USSR need not war either, as Japan could win in Chungking China,and by attacking the British and Dutch Empires.
IPC Income should look about like this, with American income halved or at 1/3 face value while America is neutral and at peace:
America, Philippines, Brazil: 52 IPC
Axis: 31 IPC
USSR: 32 IPC
British and Dutch Empires: 30 IPC.
Japan: 15 IPC.
Nationalist China: 6 IPC.
America enters war on a D6 die roll of "1" at the end of Calendar Turn 1. America enters war on a D6 die roll of "1 or 2" at the end of Calendar Turn 2, etc., until America enters.
While neutral, American units should be segregated behind a line running through the middle Atlantic, and zig zag across the Pacific, so America has access to the Philippines, and Japan has access to Caroline Is., Gilbert Is., and Marshall Is. It should of course be possible to sneak attack the American.
The six month turns would add another element of realism. InWinter north of a Winter Line, aircraft and tanks would be reduced in strength and combat movement allowance by one (1).
In Summer in the Monsoon Zone of India and Southeast Asia, tanks and aircraft would be similarly affected.
In reality, vast forces could be moved by ship long distances in the course of six months. I would rearrange the Player Turn to reflect this:
1. Non-Combat Movement, for Aircraft & Surface Ships Only.
2. Combat Movement--units may, but need not, end in enemy spaces
3. Combat: a) Naval, b) Land, c) Strategic Air.
4. All Units May Non-Combat Move.
This way, aircraft and surface ships could move three times in the course of their Player Turn. Submarines and land units could move twice. I would combine this scheme with new movement allowances:
surface ships and subs: combat move 2, non-combat move 3.
Infantry: combat move 1, non-combat move 1.
Artillery: combat move 1, non-combat move 1.
Tank: combat move 2, non-combat move 1.
Fighter: Combat Move 1, Non-Combat Move 2.
Bomber: Combat Move 2, Non-Combat Move 3.
Note that Subs and land units can only move twice, while aircraft and surface ships can move three times. Thus, it would be possible, in the course of one turn, to move units from Great Britain to and around the Cape of Good Hope, almost to India and Egypt. Also, Atlantic-Pacific transfers would take only one turn.
MAXIMUM SPACES A UNIT COULD MOVE IN A PLAYER TURN
surface ships: 8 spaces. ( 3+ 2 + 3)
submarines: 5 spaces. (0 + 2 +3)
infantry and artillery: 2 spaces. (0 + 1 +1)
tank: 3 spaces. (0 +2 +1)
fighter: 5 spaces. (2 + 1 + 2)
bomber: 8 spaces. (3 + 2 +3).
The revised movement allowances for aircraft eliminate the messy need to keep track of how many movement points an aircraft has left after its combat move. Also, reducing aircraft Combat Movement allowances eliminates unrealistic bomber and fighter attacks which reach from France to the American eastern seaboard, or vice versa.
Allowing units to use their full movement allowance available in each phase also eliminates fuss. There need be no argument about whether a unit moved in the preceding combat phase.
I am not an historian but enjoy playing the game and love what Larry has done with the new version. Yes, there are always things they could have done to make it even better, but then again, I don't think a lot of that came from Larry. Mike S. and others had much to do with that...
But regardless, it sounds like you have a great handle of the new game and have some incredible information to boot. Why not make a new game/edition yourself and put it out there. I am sure people would be interested...and love playing. It would seem more on the detailed side and probably deter some of the middle ground gamers but nonetheless, interesting to say the least.
Just my humble thought.
Japan actually defeating all of China was historically all but impossible.
The population differences between the two nations meant a Japanese victory was not a viable option.
If not for the Chinese civil war, the Japanese would not have had the successes they did nor retain the areas they controlled.
I agree that Japan plunged deeper & deeper into China without a good "exit strategy," as we say nowadays. This unfortunate policy was ultimately the personal choice of their warlord, Emperor Hirohito.
To conquer Chungking in the game should be difficult, but not impossible.
Chungking's stalemate of Japan in AD 1941 could be modeled this way:
1) Chungking gets 6 IPC income and builds Chinese infantry costing 2.
2) Adding terrain to the game to reduce the effectiveness of tanks and aircraft in places such as Chungking helps China defend itself.
3) America sends IPC in AD 1941 to Chungking via a new territory, "Burma-Bengal," which the game map much needs between Indochina-Siam and India.
To set it up this way makes Japan's seemingly mad policy of attacking the West in December 1941 more understandable. In game terms, they needed more IPC, and they needed to shut down China's supply line from the West, to break the military stalemate in China in AD 1941.
The Japanese were ruthless and genocidal in China. China is linguistically fragmented. Chinese culture puts the family above the wider national community. Japan might have prevailed in "teaching" their "little brother" China to "respect" Japan. These were Japan's nice euphemisms for their nasty policy in China. Japan even had surrogate Chinese troops, controlled by local warlords and puppets. They might have gotten away with it, if America gave them more time, and had done nothing to prop up China materially and politically. The Soviets, of course, were also involved, sending guns to their Red Chinese comrades.
AFAIAC, in the game, it should be as possible as it was historically possible.
It appears we have radically large differences as to what was historically possible.
To be blunt, I believe the majority of modern historical thought is more in support of my claims than yours.
For example, you wrote:
"To set it up this way makes Japan's seemingly mad policy of attacking the West in December 1941 more understandable."
Once the West froze Japan's assets (which essentially prevented Japan from ordering any more imported goods), Japan had these choices:
1) Acquiesce to the West's demands
2) Do nothing, continue fighting with what it had in stock, which would eventually run out and radically curtail Japan's ability to make war
3) Attack the West and cease what it needed to continue making war in the manner it did before the West froze Japanese assets
Given that backing down was too 'shameful' for those in power in Japan to consider and given that fighting without imports would - in a relatively short time - lead to the same result, Japan had only one choice.
This aspect of the war is well documented.
"Japan even had surrogate Chinese troops, controlled by local warlords and puppets."
Yes, Japan had its 'Wang army'.
But, in effect, it was essentially little more than additional forces used for rural pacification.
Poorly trained, porrly armed, the forces routinely did not carry out orders if not directly supervised by Japanese forces.
However, they were a 'wild card' which no side (Japanese, Nationalist Chinese, Communist Chinese) could not take into consideration when deciding their actions.
If you read my text carefully, you will see that I wrote that IN THE GAME it should be possible, but difficult, for Japan to conquer Chungking. In the game as it is, it is not only possible, it is not particularly difficult.
You will also note that I wrote that the Japanese might have succeeded in actual fact, IF they had more time and IF we (America) did not interfere with their vile plans by opposing them. Of course we did interfere, as much as we could.
I did not say that Japan's attack on us was wise, prudent, or a good move, only that it was understandable, which is also your view.
So, I think we are in agreement on everything, except for the question of whether Japan could have evaded the effects of the oil & scrap iron embargo. I think that they could have. An embargo is not a blockade, and even blockades have holes. Embargoes and sanctions have not proven very effective as a tool of coercion. They were a new thing to the Japanese, and this may have inclined them to exaggerate their effectiveness.
If I remember right, Herbert P. Bix (or was it the fellow writing on our naval code breakers?) took another look at the embargo on Japan in his recent book on Hirohito, and found that it had more holes than Swiss cheese. A critical factor, in his view, was that the Japanese leadership was inclined to war as a solution. They made more of the embargo than they need have, because they were in an antagonistic and overwrought frame of mind, rather like some of the writers on these sites. But they might have looked deeper at their strategic dilemma, and adopted cooler and more effective strategies to handle it. A gamer should be allowed to do so too.
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Of course this is possible, but we have to show or create a situation that shows how difficult it was to "finish" off China. In the course of last years posts we have addressed this issue but ill post some ideas:Japan to conquer Chungking
Greater China consists of the ten territories of China proper (red) and the five Japanese controlled (yellow) territories that were once part of China plus French Indo-China, Burma, and Thailand. Lesser China consists only of the ten Red colored territories.
Chinese War Aims
Chinese units may not operate or move out of the territories of Greater and Lesser China, except that Chinese bombers and their fighter escorts may perform strategic bombing on Japan.
Chinese Army’s Ineffectiveness
FIVE Chinese infantry are required to make ONE round of combat. However, Chinese infantry defend normally.
The Chinese Air Force
The fighter that begins in China represents US fighters with US volunteer pilots. During Returning Air Movement, US and UK (but not USSR) air units that have not moved or participated in combat that player turn may fly to Greater or Lesser China and be converted to Chinese air units. UK air units are immediately replaced with US (representing Chinese) air units. Chinese air units may support attacks on Axis units within Greater and Lesser China. Chinese bombers and fighter escorts may conduct strategic bombing raids on Japan. Chinese air units may not land outside of Greater or Lesser China, nor may they be returned to the US or UK, unless Greater China is defeated.
Chinese Sovereignty in Greater China
No UK or US units (except air units being transferred to the Chinese Air Force) may enter the territories of Greater China, unless Greater China has been defeated. USSR units may attack Axis-controlled territories of Greater China once the USSR and Japan are at war, but they may not enter or over-fly Chinese-controlled territory. Any Greater Chinese territory ‘‘liberated’’ by the USSR from the Axis becomes USSR-controlled under the Bolshevization rule.
Defeating Greater China
Greater China is defeated when all of the territories of Greater China are captured. Greater China is then permanently eliminated from the game, remaining Chinese infantry units are removed, Chinese air units revert to US control, and all rules pertaining to Greater China are suspended.
The Elusive Chinese Army
The Axis player is limited to one combat round per territory when attacking Chinese units in Lesser China (but not in Greater China). After one combat round, Axis units must retreat if any Chinese units survive.
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