JOINT DEFENSE OF A SEA ZONE – an uncommon problem that illustrates the conflict between Alliances – A question was posed to me recently that inspired this post.  As I work on rule clarifications for Global War, someone pointed out that while there are rules for members of the same Alliance sharing a land zone and defending jointly there isn’t clarify around what happens if the Soviets and Allies are attacked in the same sea zone.   I wanted to take a moment to explain, not just the mechanics but the point of the rule:

First, the rules – as amended – say that they could defend together – however, as with the rules for land zones state: “If player can’t agree on which casualties to select they may resolve the issue with a die roll.”   This is one thing when you have a US and British player with relatively similar victory conditions but another thing when you have a Soviet and British player who are just barely allies in the first place.   As you can imagine the Soviet player might be completely unwilling to cooperate, not because they “need” the fleet but because strengthening Britain will allow them to invade earlier and give the USSR less opportunity to gobble German owned territory.  On the other hand, you can imagine that if the USSR is on the ropes they might be desperate for Allied lend-lease and willing to cooperate!

People have been asking about the MOLOTOV-RIBBENTROP PACT so let me give it an explanation with some strategy notes here.  Here it the full text from the rules with some explanation….

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact 

14.2 Molotov-Ribbentrop (Nazi-Soviet Pacts): The Nazi-Pacts include the Treaty of Non-Aggression Between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Molotov-Ribbentrop) and their secret additional protocol, as well as the German-Soviet Trade Agreement. This set of agreements may go into effect July 1939 (or later) if the German and Soviet players agree verbally.

Pact Provisions.

(a) Non-Aggression: Germany and the USSR agree not to declare war on the other.

(b) Sphere of Influence: 

a. The USSR may combat move units into each of the Baltic States and place a Soviet roundel there. No combat occurs.

b. The USSR may combat move into East Poland and Lubelskie and place a Soviet roundel in each after Germany occupies Warsaw.

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NOTE: This is important because if the Germans occupy East Poland and Lubelskie without the pact, Soviet income goes up, but see strategy note below

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c. The USSR may invade Vipuri (Finland). Germany may not Control/Align Finland until Germany is at war with the USSR. USSR may not attack other zones in Finland.

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NOTE: What happens here is important to understand.  Normally, if the Soviets attacked Finland Germany would control Finland if they were not at war with the USSR. That would mean that so long as there was a Finland to speak of – that Russia did not take the whole thing, then Germany would have control of Finland – not Alignment which is full incorporation but “Control” – which means it could basically run Finland, using Finnish income to build Militia, Germany might even lend-lease to Finland.   The Soviet could run over the rest of Finland but then they face the possibility of Swedish aligning with the Germans per table 4-6 – So this is a benefit to the Soviets, allowing them to get one of their Victory Conditions which is Vipuri.  

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d. The USSR may not attack Romania or Hungary.

(c) Trade: Germany and the USSR agree to mutually beneficial trade. As a result of the pact. The players do not actually exchange resources.

a. Germany gets 5 IPP per turn bonus income.   (NOTE: This is per turn, every turn even above their maximum and they don’t have to be at war to get it)

b. USSR gets 3 IPP bonus income and a free research roll.  (NOTE: This is ever turn, Russians get 3 IPP and a free roll on the technology chart)

(d) Basis Nord: Germany may build a submarine base in Murmansk. This base is eliminated immediately if USSR and Germany are at war. It may not be attacked by a nation that is not at war with the USSR.

(e) Baltic-White Sea Canal: Once per turn a German submarine may move to Leningrad (SZ16) during non-combat move and subsequently be placed in the White Sea (SZ6) for no additional movement costs.

(f) Northern Sea Route: Germany may move one naval unit per turn via the Northern Sea Route. This unit must begin its non-combat movement in SZ5 or SZ6 By expending its entire movement allowance (including Naval Bases bonus) it is placed in SZ7.25

NOTE: There really aren’t any great convoy targets in the North Pacific right away, your sub – if you send one – will have to scoot South to pick up some of the British lines once it gets there.   In an upcoming German set we are going to release a Merchant-Raider which is what the Germans really did send through the North Sea.  Another note – why in the world do you even need Soviet permission to use the North Sea Route? Good question – and the answer is that you need Soviet ice-breakers to get through as well as possible other help they can provide (weather reports, fuel, navigation charts etc..)

(g) Termination: Either player may declare the pact nullified at any point in time by announcing it. Once nullified the pact may not be signed again. The pact ends automatically if Germany and the USSR are at war.

STRATEGY NOTES

Here is a strategy I saw used in play testing that can be interesting.   As the Soviets – refuse the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.  Germany will roll into Poland but won’t take East Poland and Lubelskie to avoid a big Soviet income increase.  That leaves those territories in British hands.   While there won’t be much there guess what the British will do?  Start building Militia, maybe even a minor factory.  If they can tempt Germany to hit East Poland they help the Soviets….then again…do they want to?  The British have to fear a super strong Soviet Union and so…who knows what will happen – but it does provide an interesting twist.

Hello Gamers

I made a little movie here about lend-lease just to illustrate how it works as there have been a lot of questions about how to lend-lease a military unit. In this segment we walk through the US attempting to lend-lease an armor to the Soviet Union and show you how it might go down.

 

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The US wants to help the USSR so it produces an armor for delivery in its

factory and attempts to deliver it during its Place Units Phase.  It must go

from a naval base to a naval base via the shortest route across the ocean
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Routing that armor up to Murmansk is going

to trace through at least one German Sub.  The

destroyer would not matter –  The

Danish and Turkish straits are closed so…

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Another option is to trace to the naval base in Vladivostok.

The unit would stop moving when it reaches USSR home territory.

Not the best spot for the armor but it can rail to the front on the Soviet

player’s turn across the Trans-Siberian railway.  The Japanese ships

would not matter unless the Japanese were at war with the Soviets.

Fortunately you don’t have to be a tech wizard to use the Global War-2nd edition technology chart.  It is ridiculously simple and there are no batteries, moving parts, or wires.   When it is your turn, you simply pay 2 IPP to the bank, and roll!  You can make one roll per technology per turn.   If you get the number listed or better (7+, 8+ etc…) you pass that stage oIMG_7617f development and move your marker to the next stage.   Once you reach stage 4 (complete) you are done and you have full access to what that tech gives you.

Why are there markers printed on the board?

Some nations begin with head start in certain techs – Britain, for instance, has head start in Radar.   So, if you were Britain and the first time you passed a development roll in the game you would put your marker on stage 2.

Why this way?

We decided to do the technology this way because it accommodates a greater number of possibilities for expansions.  Earlier this year we released some early-generation jet fighters like the Me-163 Komet (and soon the Caproni N-1) that require less stages in Jet tech than full development.   December 2015 we will release our Ordnance set where you will find a lot of our advanced ordnance requires certain mix of radar, advanced artillery and or strategic rocket stages.

 

Design started this week on 2025, which meant I was back at the drawing board, problem solving a whole host of new dilemmas trying to get a futuristic version of Global underway.   First thing I did was lay out the map, which was our 1936 map with redrawn boundaries. I’d gone through the site Global Firepower to get force estimates for many countries.

The first issue I ran into was one of size.  North and South Korea have somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 infantry, not to mention other units – all packed into a very very small area of the map – no amount of resizing is going to fix that issue.  Likewise, Israel is a major hot spot and its way overcrowded.   Europe, in contrast looks a little lonely.

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The second issue was dealing with national incomes – I was using military budgets at first, however realizing that in an all out war budgets would be at their maximum I thought GDP might be a better measure but this had its own set of problems. I took GDP and plugged into a formula

CHINA: 40

EU/NATO : 37

USA/Israel: 36

PACIFIC COALITION: 32 (India, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea)

ISLAMIC CALIPHATE: 9

And here’s the problem: RUSSIA: 8

That means Russia gets its rear end kicked, right off the bat the Europeans pulled their forces together (blue above) and outspent the Russians really quickly – And the USA came over and dumped more forces in Europe, not looking good for Russia.

Balance was interesting as well at the start- while I will play with forces to suit the scenario and make the game playable, using 2015 strengths the “Allies” (Pacific Coalition, EU/NATO and US) had the upper hand right away with naval strength. Its pretty clear they are going to own the oceans, which is okay since the Chinese, Russians and IC are fairly centralized.

The IC was one of the early winners, taking out Israel, and putting the squeeze on India as Chinese forces came the other way.   IC navies were wiped off the map by the US but large amounts of IC land forces are causing problems.

Nukes are of course, yet another issue and I’ve decided to save those for an expansion for two reasons – first, nuclear weapons are sure to make the game ultimately complex – so complex I think they should be optional. Second, the sheer number and types of weapons is staggering.  But there are fun surprises in store here – Soviet nuclear tipped air-air missiles? Israeli nuclear mines?  How to make nukes not game-ending will be very interesting – one way to curb this will be to have them cost a lot of victory points for first use.

Overall, the initial testing has been fun.  While I’m using World War II units presently, I am really looking forward to the units we have modeled for Global 2025 – both for 3D expansions and for our base game.  We have lots of fun stuff and more in our 3D printed line.

 

08-TAC AF-21B copy 05-2020 Tank XM1202 copy

 

 

 

Hello Global War Gamers.

In this, my first series of Global War lessons, I want to broadly introduce the 1936 scenario. (Our 39 scenario will come out later).  Playing the 1936 is a different animal for many people to get use to so its important you have an early understanding of how this game is designed.

prelude-to-war-1The Axis: You’ll notice that the Allies have a mechanic in place that allows them to increase their peacetime income based on the aggressive actions of the Axis.   Germany, Italy and Japan will use the first six turns of the game to prepare for war – not execute it.   Starting the war early means a lot of extra income for France and Britain. We saw a lot of novice players rush to war on Turn 1 only to give Britain an additional 70 IPP over 6 turns!!!   Waiting for Germany has some other advantages – One being that Germany gets Mechanized Infantry and Medium Armor before other nations, allowing it to start the war with better units.  A good strategy is to save some money here so you can get better units

The Japanese will have to decide where they want to prosecute the war. China provides a lot of resources for the Japanese, but it can become a quagmire for them if they are not careful.   They need to go in strong, and realize that China starts off fragmented into Warlord zones and embroiled in a civil war with the Communists.   Letting them alone doesn’t give you any money, but attacking them causes China to jump from 6 IPP to 13 and brings a number of warlord units under their control.     Italy starts with a free hand – no one can attack Italy until it attacks a neutral so Italy can position itself nicely in the early part of the war.

Germany and Italy will also find themselves fighting the Spanish Civil War.   There is an element of strategy to figuring out how much resources to put here.  Too little and the Russians will control Spain, a bad bad thing for Germany.   Spend too much and you might not have what you need for the war against more powerful nations.

2. The Allies: Britain begins the game without a lot to do since it can’t just openly declare war on anyone until it reaches full production.  But Britain (and the Far East Command/ANZAC) have a lot of building to do in order to be ready for the war. There are many strategic positions that need reinforcing.   France will need to build carefully.  They also control Abyssinian forces against Italy. The USA will be busy controlling the KMT Chinese. If Japan doesn’t attack, the USA could use Chinese forces to take over warlord territories or wipe out the CCP – But too much of that might give Japan the weakness they are looking for.

3. The Comintern: Russia has NO attack ability due to purges until January 1939 – So its really just building and running the Communist Chinese (which are held up in the Mountains of Shensi) and the Republicans in Spain.  The Republicans will need some Soviet support in order to resist the Italian/German backed Nationalists.  Winning Spain can be a big victory for the USSR as a win here gives you Spain when you’re at war with Germany.   That not only causes headaches for Germany, but it interferes with both French and US victory conditions who suffer from this in victory points.   The CCP is important for you also. The CCP grew from 8,000 in 1936 to 8 million by the end of the war. The mechanic that allows this is the CCP’s ability to make a reinforcement roll every turn based on the number of territories it controls.   An unchecked CCP can grow quickly, and that should be your goal.