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Subject: Strongest variant counter for each side? rss

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Christopher
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In your opinion, for the campaign game, what is the most powerful variant counter for the allies and the most powerful variant counter for the axis? Please explain your reasoning.

I'll go first.

ALLIES
Allies: variant 9 (add 50 BRPs to Russia). Close second place would be variant 2 (add 40 BRPs to France).

I choose variants 9 and 2 as the best because a double turn when your enemy is not expecting it can totally devastate them. I place the French variant lower than the Russian variant because the French sometimes have a hard time spending their excess BRPs.

Not far behind, in my opinion, are variants 3 (all french colonies are free french and GB gets all the french boats), and variant 10 (additional soviet winter). Variant 3 is risky because you have to make sure France survives to Fall 1940, otherwise it is void.

I think the allied variants 4, 6, 7, and 8 can, in the right circumstances be powerful. But, in a campaign game these variants aren't seen until halfway (or later) through the game. Often the game is decided before you ever get to really see the effects of these variants in action.

Variants 1 (better pre-war preparation), 4 (increased British growth rate) and 5 (decrease losses from u-boats) can help but they're usually not very helpful. Variant 1 especially is a waste. While it definitely should deter a first turn attack on France, it is not helpful if you are a competent player to begin with. I've shown in other posts how you can always set up to stop France from dying on turn 1. So what good do a couple more infantry and some RC units do? If you have variant 1, all that's going to happen is the German will continue as normal by attacking in the east and then gearing up next turn for France. As the allies the extra couple of units from variant 1 don't really make a difference. Now, if variant 1 also would let you have your tanks then that would be good. But as is, variant 1, is a stinker (in my opinion).

Allies
Tier 1: Variants 9, 2
Tier 2: Variants 10, 3
Tier 3: Variants 6, 7, 8
Tier 4: Variants 1, 4, 5


AXIS
Variant 9 (extra italian armor, infantry,and BRPs) is by far the best, in my opinion. Those extra units create all sorts of problems for the allies. The extra BRPs also mean extreme danger for the Allies because Italy can declare war and take an offensive on the same turn. First turn attacks by Italy are a serious threat.

Not far behind are variants 2, 4, and 7. Variant 2 (irish resistance) can basically devastate GB and guarantee France's fall, and sometimes GB's defeat as well. Variants 4 (Axis get Spain) and 7 (Axis get Turkey) are also very powerful. The extra BRPs and units are a huge bonus for the Axis.

The next tier of variant counters for the axis are: 3 (vichy becomes a german minor ally), 5 (normal german minor allies enter war --potentially early), and 8 (submarine warfare). These can each be powerful in certain situations, but they depend on factors that may be out of your control. In some situations the variant can be void (or if not void then basically worth nothing).

Variant 6 (add 50 BRPs to German in 1942 YSS) certainly helps. But unlike the allies, which can play their variant anytime (thus manufacturing a double turn for the allies), the axis variant 6 has to be played during 1942 YSS. This means that basically the German gets some extra BRPs and probably no other effect because the axis should be going first in 1942 anyway.

In the last column are variants 1 (Iraq as a minor ally) and 10 (jet fighters). What good are the iraqis? Maybe I'm missing something, but how can they help the Axis? You play 10 so late in the game (1943) that its effect is negligible.

Axis
Tier 1: Variants 9
Tier 2: Variants 2, 4, 7
Tier 3: Variants 3, 5, 8
Tier 4: Variants 6
Tier 5: Variants 1, 10
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Charles Neal
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When playing the Axis, the Spanish minor ally variant was by far my favourite. If it was timed right it led to the fall of Gibraltar which brought on a world of problems for the Brit player. Getting Turkey was good, but sometimes the Soviet player would spoil my fun!
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craig grinnell
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I always enjoyed the "optional" ones at the end of the rulebook. they always tended to throw a much larger monkey wrench into the machine that could really "perk up" an otherwise lackluster game.
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chris walsh
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Without question I'd go variant #6 for the Allies. For the Axis I'd probably go variant #4, though #2 is potentially the most calamitous - immediate withdrawal of a major power, and #9 can (also potentially) be a complete game-changer if played on set-up and the British have mis-deployed in the Med.
 
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Paul Edwards
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Here's my take on the variants. I'll do the Allies first because I think they can be objectively quantified from a BRP value standpoint. My vote for strongest is #6. 81 BRPs worth of fleets for free would be enough by itself but you also get a bonus of 2 more fleets to construct and the modifier raised to a +2. Hard to top that one in my book. I'd rate #9 (50 BRPs for the Soviets) as the next best one. Those 50 BRPs sure do come in handy if you're being pushed back on the defensive and want to rebuild those expensive armor and air units. And if you don't play it until later it sure is nice to be able to pay for all the '42 infantry builds. Also as Chris pointed out you can use it to cause a surprise flip flop. The 3rd most valuable one for the Allies is #5 (Allies only lose 2 BRPs instead of 3 from the subs). It may not seem that valuable a variant but do the math. It saves Britain 5 or 6 BRPs at the 1941 YSS, 15-18 BRPs in 1942, 10 BRPs or so in 1943 for a total of 30 to 34 BRPs at a minimum. Double or triple those amounts if it saves Britain from going negative on her base. That's huge to me. So those are my top 3.

The 2nd tier to me are 3,2,10 and 8. 3 (Free French) and 2 (French boom) would be more valuable to me but France has to survive until Fall '40 for them to be effective. Between them 3 is probably more valuable as it gives you 52 BRPs worth of fleet units and possibly one or two 2-3s plus 10-20 BRPs per year for the colonies. 2 can be nice if you're really battling the Germans hard and you've spent all your BRPs in Spring and Summer. And again as Chris pointed out earlier with 2 or 9 you might have the chance to engineer a surprise flip. 10 is not bad. It's always nice to know the German won't be able to take an offensive against you and sometimes you can really hammer them if they're not doubled on defense. 8 is not that great in my book. It allows you to build up in Britain a little faster so for 1942 and part of 1943 you'll have an extra 3-4 per turn in Britain. After that you're probably using a large chunk of the American SRs for other things.

The bottom tier in a campaign game would be 7,4 and 1. 7 (Strategic bombing) happens so late in the game that I've never even seen it played. I don't know how to quantify a BRP total for it. In theory it sounds like it could do some damage to the Germans. Does anyone out there play a lot of late games where Britain and the US have actually turned the tide on the sub battle and have spent money on SAC? Maybe they could weigh in with some numbers. Finally 4 (British growth rate) and 1 (French pre-war preps). I've never been able to get any value out of 4. When does Britain every have left over BRPs. And 10% is such a small value anyway. Even if Britain managed to save 20 BRPs or so in 1942 or '43 the extra 10% means 2 BRPs. Even multiplying out by 3 years only gives you a net gain of 6 BRPs. I consider #1 to be the worst draw. It might be useful if you were planning on invading Belgium or if Italy plays variant 9 ahead of you but that's about it. It actually can make things harder for you as generally you're trying to spend all the French BRPs you can to avoid the Fall/Winter flip.

So here's my scoring total for the Allied Variants.
Tier 1 - 6 (81 BRPs), 9 (50 BRPs), 5 (30 - 120 BRPs)
Tier 2 - 2 (40 BRPs), 3 (100-200 BRPs), 10 (15 BRPs +), 8 (0 BRPs)
Tier 3 - 7 (??) , 4 (0-20 ??) , 1 (- 10 BRPs)



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James Cox
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For Axis I would disagree and put the Turkey variant first most valuable, the Spain variant next, and the Italian one that you chose as first, I would rate as third.

I agree that the Italian one is a BFD, but it is just "more of the same" in that the Italians are already playing, the Italains just a get a few more things with which to play.

But getting a whole 'nother country! Now THAT'S a big boon to the German. A whole 'nother country come not only with units (like your Italian variant) but also with BRPs. AND TERRITORY! That completely changes the geo-political situation of the WORLD. Especially when Turkey puts Russia on a two-front footing, and Spain get the Axis Gibraltar (read: Med = Axis lake). Big big deals, indeed.
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James Cox
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grinnell1969 wrote:
I always enjoyed the "optional" ones at the end of the rulebook. they always tended to throw a much larger monkey wrench into the machine that could really "perk up" an otherwise lackluster game.


Because those weren't (exhaustively) play-tested by the devs prior to release as the "normal" ten were.
 
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James Cox
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rokeater wrote:
Here's my take on the variants. I'll do the Allies first because I think they can be objectively quantified from a BRP value standpoint. My vote for strongest is #6. 81 BRPs worth of fleets for free would be enough by itself but you also get a bonus of 2 more fleets to construct and the modifier raised to a +2. Hard to top that one in my book. I'd rate #9 (50 BRPs for the Soviets) as the next best one. Those 50 BRPs sure do come in handy if you're being pushed back on the defensive and want to rebuild those expensive armor and air units. And if you don't play it until later it sure is nice to be able to pay for all the '42 infantry builds. Also as Chris pointed out you can use it to cause a surprise flip flop. The 3rd most valuable one for the Allies is #5 (Allies only lose 2 BRPs instead of 3 from the subs). It may not seem that valuable a variant but do the math. It saves Britain 5 or 6 BRPs at the 1941 YSS, 15-18 BRPs in 1942, 10 BRPs or so in 1943 for a total of 30 to 34 BRPs at a minimum. Double or triple those amounts if it saves Britain from going negative on her base. That's huge to me. So those are my top 3.

The 2nd tier to me are 3,2,10 and 8. 3 (Free French) and 2 (French boom) would be more valuable to me but France has to survive until Fall '40 for them to be effective. Between them 3 is probably more valuable as it gives you 52 BRPs worth of fleet units and possibly one or two 2-3s plus 10-20 BRPs per year for the colonies. 2 can be nice if you're really battling the Germans hard and you've spent all your BRPs in Spring and Summer. And again as Chris pointed out earlier with 2 or 9 you might have the chance to engineer a surprise flip. 10 is not bad. It's always nice to know the German won't be able to take an offensive against you and sometimes you can really hammer them if they're not doubled on defense. 8 is not that great in my book. It allows you to build up in Britain a little faster so for 1942 and part of 1943 you'll have an extra 3-4 per turn in Britain. After that you're probably using a large chunk of the American SRs for other things.

The bottom tier in a campaign game would be 7,4 and 1. 7 (Strategic bombing) happens so late in the game that I've never even seen it played. I don't know how to quantify a BRP total for it. In theory it sounds like it could do some damage to the Germans. Does anyone out there play a lot of late games where Britain and the US have actually turned the tide on the sub battle and have spent money on SAC? Maybe they could weigh in with some numbers. Finally 4 (British growth rate) and 1 (French pre-war preps). I've never been able to get any value out of 4. When does Britain every have left over BRPs. And 10% is such a small value anyway. Even if Britain managed to save 20 BRPs or so in 1942 or '43 the extra 10% means 2 BRPs. Even multiplying out by 3 years only gives you a net gain of 6 BRPs. I consider #1 to be the worst draw. It might be useful if you were planning on invading Belgium or if Italy plays variant 9 ahead of you but that's about it. It actually can make things harder for you as generally you're trying to spend all the French BRPs you can to avoid the Fall/Winter flip.

So here's my scoring total for the Allied Variants.
Tier 1 - 6 (81 BRPs), 9 (50 BRPs), 5 (30 - 120 BRPs)
Tier 2 - 2 (40 BRPs), 3 (100-200 BRPs), 10 (15 BRPs +), 8 (0 BRPs)
Tier 3 - 7 (??) , 4 (0-20 ??) , 1 (- 10 BRPs)





You didn't find any of the 11-20 worthy of comment? Your thread is limited to the 1-10 variants only?
 
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Drugar Oakenhammer
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rokeater wrote:
7 (Strategic bombing) happens so late in the game that I've never even seen it played. I don't know how to quantify a BRP total for it. In theory it sounds like it could do some damage to the Germans. Does anyone out there play a lot of late games where Britain and the US have actually turned the tide on the sub battle and have spent money on SAC? Maybe they could weigh in with some numbers.


I'd like to hear people's experience with this, too. Personally, I've never seen Allied SAC do any real damage to German BRPs. It's useful for one thing only - permanently removing 1 or two German 5-4 air counters. I've never seen Germany lose more than a handful of BRPs. Anyone have a different experience?
 
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Christopher
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Drugar Oakenhammer wrote:
rokeater wrote:
7 (Strategic bombing) happens so late in the game that I've never even seen it played. I don't know how to quantify a BRP total for it. In theory it sounds like it could do some damage to the Germans. Does anyone out there play a lot of late games where Britain and the US have actually turned the tide on the sub battle and have spent money on SAC? Maybe they could weigh in with some numbers.


I'd like to hear people's experience with this, too. Personally, I've never seen Allied SAC do any real damage to German BRPs. It's useful for one thing only - permanently removing 1 or two German 5-4 air counters. I've never seen Germany lose more than a handful of BRPs. Anyone have a different experience?


Nope. I've never seen it played.
 
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Konstantinos K
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I am not going to do a detailed ranking of the 1-10 set, but I will list my top and bottom choices:
Allies: Top is 9 (50 Russian BRP), 2nd best is 6. Worst is 4. I think even 1 is more useful, as it -at least- give the option for a more aggressive French setup, with the few extra units. I also hate 4 because I always seem to be drawing it! Once though it proved useful as it allowed me to maintain initiative at 1940 YSS that the Axis didn't expect..
Axis: Top is 7 (Turkey), 2nd best is 2, which can be devastating for Britain early in the game! Unlike the Spanish variant the preconditions for 7 are not difficult, and this variant will make Russia crumble.
Bottom is 10: Too late to make any difference! 1 (Iraq) is close 2nd but still more useful as it causes some headaches to the British in the Middle East.
 
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Christopher
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Kukailimoku wrote:


You didn't find any of the 11-20 worthy of comment? Your thread is limited to the 1-10 variants only?


I'll take a rather in-depth stab at answering that question.

Here goes for the Axis. I'll post my thoughts on the Allies extra variants in a day or two.

I'll take a stab at the extra variants from a BRP perspective as Paul did. Full disclosure, I've only played with 2 of the extra variants in the past.

Axis
Axis Variant 11 (unrest in french north africa). 75 BRP value guaranteed, but potentially worth 135 BRPs for the axis.

Being able to construct partisans potentially robs your opponent of BRPs for the colony (potentially 15 BRPs at YSS). It also means that the Allies would have to either attrition or take offensive options to retake the colonies. Potentially several additional offensive options (maybe 15-30 BRPs to reconquer them). It also indirectly would require the allies to maintain units in those countries because the axis could just rebuild partisans 2 turns later. It is hard to put a value on having to maintain units in a country instead of using those units elsewhere. At a minimum, the British would need 1 RC in Morocco on one of the cities there to avoid losing the BRPs to the partisans. Same for Algeria and Tunisia (need at least RC in each country). So, that's at least 3 BRPs spent for the Allies. Since the allies would likely be caught totally by surprise by this it is likely they lose 15 BRPs at YSS, then spend at least 15 to retake the colonies, and have to spend at least 3 units sitting in those countries to prevent the takeover happening again in the future. Total cost is at least 33 BRPs, potentially more if the allies never retake those colonies or have to take more than one offensive option.

Alternatively, this variant also could convert a vichy colony to neutral. This costs the allies nothing, but also gives the axis nothing. What it does do is allow either side to attack the neutral without violating the vichy rule about crossing vichy territory. Potentially then, either side could conquer Morocco, Algeria, or Tunisia and get 5 BRPs for each. Potentially 15 BRPs for the Axis, but also 15 for the Allies.

Alternatively, this variant could be played to force France to send three 2-3 infantry and a 5-4 air to North Africa, else France loses 15 BRPs every turn and the ability to SR. This means France is going to fall. Even the "Vicommte" defense of France won't hold if France has to have an entire 5-4 air and three 2-3 infantry in north africa. That is worth at least 42 BRPs for the conquer of France. AND, the Axis should always play this before France falls because the variant says that one of the things I described in the above two paragraphs will happen once France does fall.

So, in total, 42 BRPs for an earlier than normal conquer of France as well as the other potentialities noted above. Since the loss of these colonies by the British would cost them 15 BRPs every YSS it could really add up. Anywhere from a minimum of 15 BRPs on the first “surprise” when the variant is played and then 15 BRPs every year thereafter.

I put the value on Axis variant 11 at: 42 + 33 + potentially 15 every year after that. 75 BRP value guaranteed. Up to 135 (assuming the allies lose the 15 BRPs for not having the colonies at 1941, ’42, ’43, and ’44 YSS.

Axis Variant 12 – Poland Backs Down -60 (yes, NEGATIVE 60 BRPs)

*EDIT: I originally misread this variant. I thought it said that whichever of Britain and France declared war first was free. But it says whichever declares war last is free. Thus, my original post was wrong about this variant. I am changing this part of the post.

This variant costs Germany 15 BRPs because she does not get the free offensive against Poland. Additionally, since Poland is not at war with Germany, Germany will have to spend BRPs to declare war on Poland. Thus, Germany will have to spend 10 BRPs to declare war on Poland at some point in the future. Thus, this variant puts Germany in the hole negative 25 BRPs.

In exchange for being -25 BRPs, France or Britain will have to spend 35 BRPs to declare war on Germany. This brings Germany to a positive gain of 10 BRPs. It is unlikely that France and Great Britain will sit idly by while Germany conquers minors and outgrows them economically to a point that they are overwhelmed. Then again, maybe sitting and doing nothing is exactly what the French want to have happen. If the USA gets in and France is not dead and either GB on its heels or Russia majorly smacked down, then Germany is probably going to lose. So, the french would probably love for the Germans to sit and do nothing against them. I think this will end up meaning that Germany declares war on France for 35 BRPs even though the variant (and the explanation at the end by Larry Bucher) contemplates that the allies will end up spending 35 BRPs. I think Germany will be negative 60 BRPs in the whole on this variant total. 10 to declare war on poland, 15 for the offensive in the east, and 35 to declare war on france.

And, Germany has to maintain the eastern front garrison.

Theoretically, everybody could stay neutral and try to gobble up as many neutrals as quickly as possible (e.g. Sweden, Turkey, Greece, etc.). But, in reality that won’t happen.

So, this AXIS variant hurts the AXIS. It is worth -60 BRPs to the Axis. The axis should never play it.

Axis Variant 13 – Stalin is More Obdurate than Usual 5 BRPs.
This variant does not give or take away BRPs. It simply limits the amount that can be sent to Russia. It potentially hurts Russia, but neither side loses or gains BRPs. The net is 0, from a BRP perspective.

That said, there are games where Russia’s survival depends on being able to get BRP grants and limiting those BRP grants can mean the Germans potentially conquer Russia (worth 45 BRPs). It is an extremely longshot though. In my estimate, the limit of BRP grants to Russia will only make the difference between Axis victory or defeat in 10% of the games played. Thus, I give it a 5 BRP value.

Axis Variant 14 –Bavarian Redoubt 54 BRPs
If Germany puts its most powerful units (two of its 5-6 tanks and the airborne) in Berchtesgaden they are quadrupled to 52 power. The allies can surround Berchtesgaden on 6 sides. Let’s add up the factors to see if the allies can get a 2:1 attack on Berchtesgaden. The russo-allied rules (see Rule 45.3) prevent the allies attacking together. Thus, since the western allies have more airpower than Russia the western allies can get more power on Berchtesgaden than Russia will ever be able to manage on her own.

The Americans can put five 5-6 tanks (taking up 2 and 1/2 of the hexes to attack). The British have four 4-5 tanks (taking up 2 hexes of the hexes to attack). The remaining hexes would have to be occupied by 3 power units (british or American infantry). That’s the next most powerful units the British and Americans have. That would give the western allied three 3-4 infantry (taking up 1 and ½ of the hexes). That takes up all 6 hexes. In addition, the allies can paratroop drop on Berchtesgaden. The Americans have a 3-3 paratrooper and so do the British, for another 6 power. Ground unit power: 25 (American tanks) + 16 (british tanks) + 9 (3-4 infantry) + 6 (paratroopers) = 56 ground power. The western allies can then add in air power. The British have 20, and the Americans 25, for a total airpower of 45.

So, if the allies throw everything at Berchtesgaden they have 56 + 45 = 101 power. To get a 2:1 attack, the allies need 104 power. Thus, they will attack at a 1:1. We’ll assume the allies attack with 55 power (so they can advance after combat with a 3-3 infantry in case they roll a big EX. Attacking with more than 55 would be pointless. On the counter-attack the Germans are not quadrupled and would be 13 vs. 55 (which is less than 1:4 which means the Germans automatically die if a CA is rolled on the first roll).

Since the allies need to only get 55 power they can do that without risking any air. Since the allies can get 56 in ground power and since tanks cost 2 BRPs instead of 3 BRPs for air, the allies should risk all their ground units and the two airborne units but risk no air force. That would mean the allies risk (in BRP terms) the following: 50 (American tanks) + 32 (British tanks) + 9 (three 3-4 infantry) + 18 (two airborne units) = 109 BRPs worth of units.

Now we can add up the expected costs:

33% chance the allies roll a big EX. This would cost the allies 106 BRPs worth of men.

17% chance the allies roll an “A” and lose 109 BRPs worth of men.

17% chance the allies roll a “D” and lose nothing.

33% chance the allies roll a “CA” which has the axis counterattacking at less than 1:4 odds, which means the Axis automatically kill themselves. So rolling a CA is the same as rolling a “D”. Allies would kill all the axis units with no chance of a small exchange.

50% (or 3 out of 6 times) the allies lose 0 BRPs worth of men.
33% (or 2 out of 6 times) the allies lose 106 BRPs worth of men.
17% (or 1 out of 6 times) the allies lose 109 BRPs worth of men.

So the total “average” losses expected would be (0 + 0 + 0 + 106 + 106 + 109) / 6 = 53.5.

I’ll round up to 54 BRPs. On average, the allies will lose 54 BRPs worth of men on the attack on Berchtesgaden. Of course, if the allies have surrounded Berchtesgaden with that many men it doesn’t matter at that point, because even with the loss of those units Germany is likely unable to build anywhere and likely unable to stop the allies from just rebuilding the units and trying again in a turn or two. But, I suppose that could make the difference between a decisive, tactical, or marginal victory. In any event, the average BRP loss to the allies is 54.

This variant also makes Berchtesgaden a supply source. It’s impossible to measure the value of that.

Axis Variant 15 –Improved German Planning and Preparation for Winter Operations Estimated 20-50 BRPs.
Negates the Russian winter. Axis units will be doubled on defense. Axis can take an offensive. Let’s assume for a second that the regular Russian winter rule was in effect. Let’s also assume Russia can go on the offensive, and let’s assume that Russia can muster a lot of forces. Even with those assumptions, there’s a high likelihood that Russia will be attacking on the 1:1 column during a normal Russian winter offensive. These 1:1 attacks still have a 17% of rolling a 5 (A), which the net result would be the German soldiers still survive. This is no different than if the Russian winter is negated and the Russian does not attack (in which case the German soldiers still survive). So, 17% of the time, even with this variant counter, the German soldiers still survive. The other 83% of the time the Germans are destroyed in a normal Russian winter, but because of this variant the Russian probably doesn’t go on all out attacks.

The value of this variant depends on how many attacks the Russian would have made but for the variant counter, and then taking the number of german factors that would have been destroyed had the Russian attacked and then reducing that cost by 17%.

Since playing the variant probably means the Russian does not attack most of the units he was planning to attack, I estimate the variant to be worth around 20-50 BRPs worth of men.

Axis Variant 16 –Wafdist Uprsing in Egypt 15 BRPs guaranteed, but potentially another 30 BRPs if you follow what I explain below.

I actually played a game with this variant against rokeater. At first, I thought this was a total waste of a variant, but part way through the game I realized how powerful it can be. I’ll explain below how it can be used to great effect. (Although in our game I rolled a 4, 6 combo on my 2:1 attack and totally ruined my plan).

You can build 2 partisans. If you amasse your units on the Egyptian border and take at least one hex in Egypt then you can play this variant. What the allied player is likely to do is to move two infantry units forward to the gap to the north of the Qattara Depression and then back that up with a tank so that if you break through, the British tank on the second line of defense means you don’t totally bust through. The allied player *thinks* that even if you kill his infantry and tank you will be stuck there (one hex west of Alexandria) and then the allied player expects to just SR units into Port Said and/or Suez and defend again on his turn.

You don’t care about that. What you want to do is go ahead with your attack and take out the British infantry and tank. Throw everything you’ve got at it. You must destroy that infantry and tank. An exchange on the tank battle will do. You need the tank dead. Then when you build, you build a partisan on Alexandria and the other partisan on either Suez or Port Said. You prefer to build on Port Said, but Suez will do too. Now the British player cannot SR units into Egypt. This is because you have units adjacent to all the ports in Egypt and you can’t SR with a unit adjacent. The British player can SR a unit to Haifa in Palestine, but it will have to stop two hexes east of Port Said (if you built the Partisan on Port Said), or one hex east of Port Said (if you build the partisan on Suez).

The British player often has a boat on Port Said to prevent amphibious invasion there, but almost always that boat does not have a unit on it. Almost always the British player has that boat all by itself. You can build a partisan on a hex with just a boat because it is considered an empty hex.

Also, please note that building a partisan on Alexandria and Suez does not make GB lose 25 BRPs. The rules say that “If the Axis control both Suez city and Alexandria, Britain immediately loses 25 BRPs.” Partisan controlled hexes are not controlled by anyone. The Axis do not control Suez and Alexandria by building partisans there. But, also keep in mind that Rule 29.23 says that fleets may not move through or into the Suez canal unless the adjacent land hexes are controlled by their side. Rule 47.1 says the same thing.

If conducted as described above, then the British will be prevented from SRing in units to Egypt, which will mean that on the Axis next turn Egypt will fall and GB will lose the 25 BRPs.

Great Britain does have a counter to this, but it depends on whether you built the partisan in either Suez or Port Said. If you built it in Port Said, then the move the British has to stop you from taking Egypt next turn is to amphibiously invade Port Said and kill your partisan, or sea transport a unit to Haifa (in Palestine) and then have that unit move next to Port Said to attack the partisan and hope the partisan is killed in the combat. If the British player can destroy the partisan unit on Port Said, then GB will be able to SR in units at the end of his turn. The British probably have a unit on Gibraltar that can be sea transported. So that will cost him 15 BRPs for the offensive mission to sea transport the unit. That sea transport is susceptible to Italian fleet interception. Since you know this as the Italian, don’t use your fleets on your turn that you are going to build the partisan units so that your fleets are available to try to stop the British sea transport mission.

Alternatively, if one of your partisans is built on Suez instead of Port Said, it pretty much is the same as before, but since there is no enemy unit on Port Said, the British player can’t amphibious assault. He’d be left with sea transporting a unit to Port Said and then attacking you on Suez. Same odds here. If the partisan dies in the combat, then the British player will be able to SR in units and defend as he normally would.

Unfortunately for the Axis, the British probably have a 3-4 infantry on Gibraltar. And since the 1:1 attack will succeed in either an exchange of some sort (thereby killing the partisan) or outright death (rolls a 6) the only way the partisan survives is if the 1:1 battle where the British rolls a 5 (A). Alternatively, if the Italians successfully intercept and win the naval battle the can stop the British from ever getting a chance to sea transport that infantry to Egypt.

If you know you have this variant, and if you have all 5 of your Italian boats built, you should try to stop his invasion fleet. The risk is the French will try to counter-intercept you (which is destroying your future vichy fleet). The allies will get two chance to defeat you in naval combat. Once by the French counter-intercept, and then if the Italians win that battle, then again in the battle between the Italians and British. The Italians have to win both naval battles or else the British infantry lands and has an 83% chance of taking out the partisan.

This isn’t the strongest of variants, but it does present some interesting possibilities. Also, if the British put all their units too far forward in Egypt, you could just build the two partisans to the north of the Qattara depression and thereby cut off the supply of the British units. The British would then be forced to either take an offensive and attack the partisans to reopen supply or forfeit the units to being out of supply.

My calculation for the worth of this variant is a guaranteed 15 loss for the British by forcing the British take an offensive option when they don’t want to, and potentially 25 BRPs lost by GB for losing Suez and Alexandria on the next Axis turn coupled with the gain of 5 BRPs for Italy conquering Egypt.

Like I said above, I actually was going to do this to rokeater in a game we played, but I rolled a 4, 6 combo on the 2:1 attack and that totally ruined my plan.

This variant is worth 15 BRPs, but potentially worth an extra 30 BRPs if the axis conquer Egypt and force the 25 BRP loss to GB. This can be potentially devastating if you plan this for later in the year when GB is getting low on BRPs. If they go negative or don’t have the BRPs to take offensives in the Med and West (to help defend France) then it is possible GB will just concede they are going to lose Egypt without even attempting to retake it from the partisans.

Axis Variant 17 – Germany Expands Airborne Capability 36 BRPs (estimated), but potentially worth more.

Clearly having a second airborne unit for Germany is a bonus, but how do you quantify the BRP value? You can untriple a second hex if the enemy is defending behind a river. You can threaten more than one location for airborne drops. You can defend a hex with 4 units now instead of 3. Even if you used the airborne every turn to untriple a defender, it cannot be constructed until 1942. Let’s say you use it 12 times. You construct it in spring 1942 and first use it in summer 1942 and every turn thereafter until Fall 1945. That’s 12 turns. You would untriple 12 attacks at most. Or, more likely, is you are able to get 2:1 odds somewhere else that you wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise. Either way, you end up destroying a maximum of 2 extra defending units that you wouldn’t have been able to kill otherwise on each turn. Realistically you are not going to drop every turn. Let’s say you killed an extra 6 BRPs of men every turn. Then, this variant would be worth 72 BRPs max. Realistically, probably half that, 36.

Axis Variant 18 – Goering Puts More Emphasis on Bombers 0-30 BRPs. My estimate ~10 BRPs
You don’t count the Italian lent air. Germany, at most has 30 air force. Great Britain, at most, has 20 air force. GB could have as little as 0 air force in range. So, this variant is worth somewhere between 0 and 30 BRPs, depending on how much air force each side has.

Axis Variant 19 – No Anti-Nazi Coup in Belgrade 66 BRPs very likely, possibly 86, rarely worth 106.

Yugoslavia becomes an axis minor ally at the same time as Hungary, meaning you get the 20 BRPs, but you also get the units, and you can rebuild those units. Obviously, you immediately get 20 BRPs when it activates. You then get those 20 BRPs every YSS you have Yugoslavia, which I estimate to be for sure in 1943, maybe in 1944, and probably not in 1945. Thus, likely worth at least 40 BRPs, maybe 60, probably not more than that.

I’m assuming the Yugoslavian units are activated for free when the country activates, just like Hungary. Five 2-3 infantry is worth 10 BRPs. Two 1-4 air are worth 6 BRPs. That’s 16 more BRPs to the totals above.

It is much harder to calculate the worth of the extra units in terms of how they would affect the balance of power. That’s a lot of extra units and they can be used against Russia and taken as cheap attrition losses. That’s worth something, but I don’t know how much. I’d estimate worth 10 BRPs, but obviously could be a lot more.

Total value = 10 for the extra units affecting the balance of power + 16 for the actual BRP cost that you don’t have to spend to construct them initially + 40 for the BRPs at activation and 1943 YSS = 66. Possibly worth 86 if you still have Yugoslavia in 1944 YSS.

Axis Variant 20– No Pearl Harbor 15 BRPs minimum up to guaranteed victory for the Axis

There are so many possibilities that this variant is hard to quantify. Basically, under all the scenarios the US is likely going to enter the war later than normal. This in turn will affect the timeline significantly. This is going to have a widely varying effect on each game. Some games are already determined before 1942 anyway, so this variant could have little to no value for the Germans if they are already ahead. It would just ensure their victory even more in that case. On the other hand, some games the balance is even and the delayed entry of the US could mean the difference between Germany winning a decisive victory and no victory at all. Still other times, the German is already so far behind that this variant could give Germany a chance at winning where she might not have had one.

I can say this, the “Japan attacks Russia” roll can be quantified. The permanent loss of five 3-3 infantry clearly costs the Russian 15 BRPs worth of men, but it is more than that. Without those men Russia might never be able to mount a proper offensive against the Germans. The US increased naval combat modifier is probably worth a few fleet factors. Let’s say the Americans win one extra fleet battle they wouldn’t have won without the extra modifier. Maybe this is worth 15 BRPs worth of fleet factors (assuming the Germans lose 5 factors in the battle).

Also, is it just me or is it confusing. It looks to me like there would need to be two die rolls. The first die roll tells you if you are in either the Japan does nothing, the japan attacks Russia, or the Japan attacks only British/Dutch possessions. Then, after that has been decided you roll again to decide when the US enters…at least that’s how I interpret it. Do you read it differently?

Also, the “Japan does nothing” (roll a 1) is confusing. It looks like you then roll again. Why would the US enter in Summer 42 on a roll of a 6, but enter in Fall 42 on a roll of a 5-6. Isn’t that a typo? Shouldn’t it be that on a roll of a 5 the US enters in Fall 42 not a 5-6. So what happens on a roll of a 6? Is it Summer 42 or Fall 42? Both would be included on a 6.

Then, it is more confusing because it says, “etc.” This implies that on a roll of a 4-6 US enters in Winter 42, on a roll ofa 3-6 US enters in Spring 43, 2-6 US enters in Summer 1943, and finally on a 1-6 US enters in Fall 1943. Again, I think it is confusing and should just be: 6 = Summer 42; 5 = Fall 42; 4 = Winter 42; 3 = Spring 43; 2 = Summer 43; and 1 = Fall 43.

I can also say this, if you were lucky enough to roll the 1 “Japan does nothing” and then roll a 1 again to make the US enter in Fall 43, then you might as well hand the game to Germany. A 6 turn delay for the US to enter the game should mean a German decisive victory every single time.

Value of this variant varies wildly and appears to have 18 different possibilities. If you initially roll a 1 “Japan does nothing” there are 6 variations within that roll to determine when the US enters. If you initially roll a 2 “Japan attacks Russsia” then there are 6 more variations within that roll to determine when the US enters. Finally, if you initially roll a 3-6 you still have 6 more variations to determine when the US enters.

Am I reading this variation wrong?

Summary for Axis
11: 75 to 135 BRPs
12: Negative 60 BRPs for Axis.
13: 5 BRPs
14: 54 BRPs
15: 20 to 50 BRPs
16: 15 to 45 BRPs
17: 36 BRPs +/- depending on how often you drop the airborne
18: 0 to 30 BRPs
19: 66 to 106 BRPs
20: 15 BRPs up to guaranteed victory for Axis
 
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Christopher
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Speaking of Axis variant #12. Since it actually hurts Germany significantly, I would insist ahead of time that if the Axis draw this variant that they get to redraw until they don't pick this variant.

Or, maybe substitute variant #12 with one of the many variations proposed by people on these boards.
 
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Konstantinos K
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OU_Sooner wrote:


Also, is it just me or is it confusing. It looks to me like there would need to be two die rolls. The first die roll tells you if you are in either the Japan does nothing, the japan attacks Russia, or the Japan attacks only British/Dutch possessions. Then, after that has been decided you roll again to decide when the US enters…at least that’s how I interpret it. Do you read it differently?

Also, the “Japan does nothing” (roll a 1) is confusing. It looks like you then roll again. Why would the US enter in Summer 42 on a roll of a 6, but enter in Fall 42 on a roll of a 5-6. Isn’t that a typo? Shouldn’t it be that on a roll of a 5 the US enters in Fall 42 not a 5-6. So what happens on a roll of a 6? Is it Summer 42 or Fall 42? Both would be included on a 6.

Then, it is more confusing because it says, “etc.” This implies that on a roll of a 4-6 US enters in Winter 42, on a roll ofa 3-6 US enters in Spring 43, 2-6 US enters in Summer 1943, and finally on a 1-6 US enters in Fall 1943. Again, I think it is confusing and should just be: 6 = Summer 42; 5 = Fall 42; 4 = Winter 42; 3 = Spring 43; 2 = Summer 43; and 1 = Fall 43.

Am I reading this variation wrong?

Summary for Axis
11: 75 to 135 BRPs
12: Negative 60 BRPs for Axis.
13: 5 BRPs
14: 54 BRPs
15: 20 to 50 BRPs
16: 15 to 45 BRPs
17: 36 BRPs +/- depending on how often you drop the airborne
18: 0 to 30 BRPs
19: 66 to 106 BRPs
20: 15 BRPs up to guaranteed victory for Axis


Yes it is written a bit in a confusing way, but it actually makes sense:
There are two rolls as you said: The first roll occurs when you play the variant and determines what sub-variant of this variant you are to follow. The second roll occurs in the start of the game turn in which the US is supposed to enter. EXAMPLE: Let's say the most common situation occurs, 66% initial roll 3-6 that determines that Japan only attacks British& Dutch possessions. In Spring 42 there will be no US DoW. In the start of Summer 42 turn a roll will occur and if the US rolls 4-6 (50% chance) it will declare War on that allied turn. If they are unlucky next turn (Fall 42) they will roll with a higher chance of 67% (success for 3-6). Then if they are unlucky again they will try in Winter 42 for a 83% chance (success 2-6). In theory, They may keep rolling aces and never enter, but the most likely overall scenario in this variant (41% overall chance) is a 1-turn delay in US entry.
There is also a 3% chance of a Regular Spring entry, so about half the time (44% or so) this variant is not that bad for the allies. But it can be disastrous if US is a bad roller! Hope it is clear now...
 
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Christopher
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kostaskav wrote:


Yes it is written a bit in a confusing way, but it actually makes sense:
There are two rolls as you said: The first roll occurs when you play the variant and determines what sub-variant of this variant you are to follow. The second roll occurs in the start of the game turn in which the US is supposed to enter. EXAMPLE: Let's say the most common situation occurs, 66% initial roll 3-6 that determines that Japan only attacks British& Dutch possessions. In Spring 42 there will be no US DoW. In the start of Summer 42 turn a roll will occur and if the US rolls 4-6 (50% chance) it will declare War on that allied turn. If they are unlucky next turn (Fall 42) they will roll with a higher chance of 67% (success for 3-6). Then if they are unlucky again they will try in Winter 42 for a 83% chance (success 2-6). In theory, They may keep rolling aces and never enter, but the most likely overall scenario in this variant (41% overall chance) is a 1-turn delay in US entry.
There is also a 3% chance of a Regular Spring entry, so about half the time (44% or so) this variant is not that bad for the allies. But it can be disastrous if US is a bad roller! Hope it is clear now...


Actually, I had never even considered it being handled that way. I thought there were two rolls and both occurred on the same turn. What you are saying makes more sense now and I can see why they would say 5-6, and 4-6, etc.

I thought it was saying that you do the initial roll (let's say a 1) and then you roll again. If that roll was a 3 then you were stuck with the US enters in Spring of 1943. I didn't consider the US would get to re-roll each time with increasing odds of entry into the war. The way you described makes a lot more sense now and that explains why they said 5-6, etc.

Thanks.
 
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Paul Edwards
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Earlier I did the Allied variants. Here's my take on the Axis 1-10. The Axis ones are not as easy for me to quantify as the Allied ones so these rankings are more subjective. My top tier ones are 7, 4 and 9. I actually like 9 the best but I think the other two are more powerful. 7 gives you Turkey, usually in mid 1941. So you'll get the 30 BRPs for at least a couple of years plus the units. It allows you to outflank either the Soviet Union or Egypt depending on which way you send the tanks. It also makes it easy to interdict Lend Lease. Very powerful. Next up would be 4 and Spain. Like Turkey it gives you the 30 BRPs for at least a couple of years and will probably give you Gibraltar and the Med, costing the British 25 BRPs immediately and another 25 later as you can usually overrun Egypt after the Gibraltar limitations take effect. There are some warning signs that the Axis may have it as Italy has to take a 5th objective hex prior to play. As stated above 9 is my favorite draw. It's a powerful early variant usually played upon setup. With the usual sequence of events, Italy declares war in Winter '39 and can't take an offensive option until Spring '40. With the variant Britain has to defend Egypt earlier. Those extra armor are incredibly useful also. I usually lend them to the Germans giving them a lot more punch. You can load them on the German ships and do offensive operations or use them in the exploitation chains on the drive to the Urals. And if the Italians hold on to them it triples their exploitation capability throughout the Med. Fun variant and powerful.

The second tier for me would be 6, 2, 1, and 3. 6 gives the Germans 50 BRPs in the 1942 YSS. How do most people play that? Do you add it at the beginning of the YSS so it "grows" Germany by 25 on the base or 50 added to the conquests as a 1 time deal? Either way it's a nice hunk of BRPs. I don't find 2 as powerful as most people on this board seem to find it. It's a nice distraction that makes it a little easier to take out France which is always a good thing for the Germans. If I'm the British and it's used against me I just put a couple of RCs in E24 and a couple of 4-5's in Belfast. If I need the tanks in France I sea transport them in and either replace them there during Unit Construction or Strategic Redeployment or send in some used air wings during SR. 1 is similar to me in that the Iraqis are more of a distraction than an actual threat. It allows you to take some of the colonies and then be reinforced by either Italian or German troops that can actually threaten Egypt. It also allows you to interdict Lend Lease and I had one game that the Iraqis attacked some Soviet air in Krasnovodsk. I like 3 for the fact that it allows you to activate Vichy even if you don't have the modifiers in your favor. The British do get a chance to deactivate them before you can play it though.

Bottom tier Allied variants for me are 10, 5 and 8. 10 has the same problems for me that 8 has for the Allied draw. I just don't see the Allies ever building a lot of SAC. The air modifier is nice but it's not a game changer. It'll cost the Allies a factor or 2 more of air losses which they'll just shrug off anyway. 5 is too situational for me. If you can attack the USSR in Fall '40 it can be useful. If you declare war in Winter you'll still get one turn of early activation but after that it's a worthless variant. In most of my games the Soviets have Hungary filled with foreign aid and sometimes Bulgaria too. The British will sometimes send some foreign aid to Finland or Rumania which further weakens the variant. Finally 8 slows down the US a little for '42 and '43 on their initial deployments to Britain.

Tier 1: 7, 4, 9
Tier 2: 6, 2, 1, 3
Tier 3: 10, 5, 8
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Christopher
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So, I gave my evaluation above of the axis alternate variants. Now here is my evaluation of the Allies.

Allied Variant #11 - Belgium and Luxembourg Agree to Defensive Cooperation with Allies 30 BRPs, but possibly worth 72.

I’ve played against this variant. France will get the immediate BRPs once Germany declares war on Belgium. Thus, it is worth 15 BRPs. Not only does this variant give the allies the 15 BRPs, but it very likely deprives Germany of those BRPs for the 1940 YSS. Thus, I would give this variant at least 30 BRP value.

Further, this variant allows the French and British to take advantage of the Rhein river to get tripled defense two hexes further up the line than normal. Imagine France with armor in Luxembourg and the forward maginot, and GB with armor and a 3-4 infantry in Antwerp, Brussels, and the hex SE of Brussels. That’s a formidable defensive line and Antwerp, Brussels and the maginot hexes cannot be taken by Attrition.

In the game I played against this variant it does give the Germans one bonus. Since attacks can’t come from the allies out of Belgium or Luxembourg and into Germany, I realized that if Germany doesn’t declare war on those countries I might have an advantage (I was Germany)? This means that Germany’s western defenses can be skimpy except for the hexes of Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and SW of Stuttgart. I chose to take the Netherlands and then I could easily defend Germany with minimal defenses. I launched my attacks through Italy. If Germany never declares war on Belgium then it doesn’t become an ally and France doesn’t get the BRPs. My opponent eventually realized that I wasn’t going to declare war and then we had a discussion about could he declare war on his ally (he can) but how to handle the setup, etc. That’s a discussion for another time.

If Germany tries to go through Italy, it is a tough slug, but I felt that was preferable to giving my opponent BRPs and a good defensive position. If Germany, on the other hand, tries to go through Belgium and Luxembourg, the advance defenses of the allies means probably France falls at least one (maybe 2) turns later than normal. If Germany conquers France in 1940 anyway, then it does not cost Germany BRPs at YSS for 1941, but if the delay does cause France to survive, then it can cost Germany 42 BRPs, which is a huge amount. The delay also puts great pressure on Germany. Germany is already on a tight schedule, but this variant makes that even harder. It is hard to put a value on that.

I give this variant a minimum of 30 BRP value for the Allies, with another possible 42 value if this variant causes Germany to not get the French BRPs at 1941 YSS.

Allied Variant #12 – Italian Delay 29-39 BRPs.

The danger of this variant is that it is void if Italy is already at war with a major power. In most games Italy will build its first turn because it is always in danger of being conquered from a two turn flip-flop by the allies. So, Italy will almost always build on its Fall 1939 turn and then declare war in Winter 1939. Since that is what is probably going to happen, then the only way for the allies to likely be able to play this variant is if on the allied Fall 1939 turn they play the variant.

The allies are negative 25 BRPs for buying off Italy. And they will have to voluntarily destroy the infantry on Malta so that during their 1939 turn they can move the fleet out of Malta. The allies should also not have France setup an infantry in Tunisia or the French fleet in Tunis.

Assuming this variant is played in Fall 1939 by the Allies then Italy may not declare war until Fall 1940 nor launch attacks at Tunisia or Egypt (for example) until Fall 1940. This means the British can empty out Egypt and the French can empty out all of Africa as well as Lebanon-Syria. This gives the allies a strategic advantage in defending France without any concern of losing BRPs for Egypt or giving extra BRPs to the axis for losing colonies (e.g. Tunisia).

Additionally, with Italy neutral, Germany cannot traverse Italy’s land. This means no threat of attacks coming into France from the south, which means France needs 0 units in the south to protect that route. This is worth a lot in my opinion.

There is another danger. With Italy bought off, the allies will get a double turn. This can be a bonus or a hindrance. The double turn will almost certainly come over the Fall/Winter 1939 turn unless the French and British go on a heavy offensive (Portugal and Spain maybe?).

If I were the allies and I have this variant, even though it costs me 25 BRPs, it probably guarantees France’s survival at least until Italy is back in the game (Fall 1940). Knowing I had this variant, I would setup to attack Spain and Portugal using both France and GB. You have the extra units to spare and you don’t have to defend Egypt or the Italian border. With the right setup you should be able to take out Spain and Portugal before the 1940 YSS. You should let GB have all the BRPs for those 2 countries to help build Strategic warfare and more foreign aid. If the allies get Portugal and Spain before 1940 YSS then that’s another 35 BRPs of value this variant brings. That offsets the -25 to buy off Italy.

Finally, there is also the possibility that the axis hold the Spain variant. If you bought off Italy and used the extra security to take out Spain and Portugal, then you could also potentially make worthless the axis variant #4 (on the small chance they have that one).

I value this as follows: -25 to buy off Italy; -1 to destroy the infantry on Malta; +35 for getting Spain and Portugal; +10 for not having to defend Egypt or letting the axis get some BRPs for taking French colonies. It is hard to put the value on not having to defend the Italian border, but focusing everything on a frontal attack by Germany is probably worth another 10-20 BRPs in my opinion. Total value then = roughly 29-39 BRPs.

Allied Variant #13 –Extra Russian Infantry “Purge Him Before He Purges You” 13 BRPs

This one is easy. Compare what your normally get compared to what the variant has. Your armor, air, and naval unit construction is not affected, just the infantry.

Your at start forces are increased slightly, which saves you some BRPs since you don’t have to build some units:
You start with an extra four 3-3 infantry (12 BRPs).
You start with an extra five 2-3 infantry (10 BRPs).
You start with only three 1-3 infantry instead of the normal twelve (-9 BRPs).
Total at start BRP value of this variant = 13 BRPs.

This variant has extra value because it lets you get some of the tougher 3-3 infantry earlier, but less of the 1-3 infantry.

Comparing your normal at start forces plus your normal available builds compared to this variant shows the following:
1-3s between 1939 and 1942 normal: 15 (10 with the variant)
2-3s between 1939 and 1942 normal: 10 (10 with the variant)
3-3s between 1939 and 1942 normal: 5 (10 with the variant)

So, normally you can have a total of 30 infantry units on the board between start and 1942. In this variant you also can have 30 infantry units on the board. But, this variant basically lets you have five of your tougher infantry earlier in the game, but five less 1-3 infantry.

Let’s assume it is 1942 in the normal game. I’ll give the normal number of total infantry of each type you can build and then in parenthesis the number with this variant.

1-3s normal: 15 (15 with the variant)
2-3s normal: 10 (10 with the variant)
3-3s normal: 20 (20 with the variant)

As you can see, the total number of units that you can put on the board does not change. In terms of changing the balance of play by having a lot of extra unit counters to fill in empty spaces….well this variant makes no difference in terms of the number of unit counters. What changes is when you can get them.

In other words, starting in 1942 this variant is worthless because you have the same number of infantry with this variant in 1942 as you would have without it.

So, if you’re going to get any extra value out of this variant, you’d need to do so between the start of the game and Winter 1941. Otherwise, all you did was get 13 BRPs worth of at start forces, which is almost as weak as the variant that lets France start with its infantry and RC counters.

Since Russia is really limited in who they can attack early in the game, this variant doesn’t offer much.

Allied Variant #14 –Full Anglo-French Cooperation Unknown.
This is worth a LOT, but hard to put a number on. The British can now fly DAS for the French and vice-versa. Between the French air (10) and the British (20) they have 30 air factors. The Germans and Italians combined have 40.

The British do not have to worry about getting surrounded and only being able to retreat to French hexes (thus dying).

In a normal game, the most the French can muster on one hex is 2 tanks for 6. Usually the French will combine one infantry with one tank for 5 defense on a single hex.

The British usually combine a tank with an infantry for 7. Now, the French infantry could stack with the British tanks for 6 defense, and the British infantry could stack with the French tanks for 6 defense. That changes the calculus for attacks into France. It also allows the British and French to put a first line of infantry if they want (3 british + 2 french) for 5. Doubled to 10 changes the calculus. With a first line of infantry the French and British could back that up with tanks. The Allies would only risk cheap infantry on the first line and could stop breakthroughs with the powerful tanks.

The French and English can now exploit each other’s attacks. This potentially gives them a lot of extra maneuverability. They can sea transport each other’s units.

The French and English can jointly intercept the German and Italian navy missions instead of having one intercept. Having Rule 34 ignored probably means no Italian or German naval missions succeeds.

All of the above has no definite value, but a lot of hypothetical value and will depend on the situation.

Allied Variant #15 –Hitler Assassinated 44 BRPs, but possibly much more.

Since all axis units are frozen in place and SR can only move units inside Germany, this variant means that the Allies go first a turn (they should attack) and kill as many units as possible. The Allies then play this variant. The Germans are stuck, unable to defend or re-group. The allies then go and on the second turn (they should attack again) and kill off the rest of the German units. Even if the allies can’t completely finish off the Germans they will likely take out a huge chunk of the German army playing this variant. Any units not destroyed should be put out of supply.

I would assume that with this variant the allies could take out at least 4 panzers, and at least 4 infantry, but likely much more than that. Minimum value = 44 BRPs, but possibly more.

Allied Variant #16 –France Builds Armor Instead of Maginot 42 BRPs, but possibly more

France gets two extra armor units at start for free (12 BRPs). This is huge. The variant does not say when it has to be played. So, a smart French player will play this after Italy has setup. France can suddenly exploit on turn 1 and that puts Italy in grave danger.

Additionally, France either can build 3 more armor (18 BRPs worth of extra units), or one armor and an additional 5-4 air force (21 BRPs worth of extra units). I would choose the one extra armor and air force personally.

The extra units make France more difficult to conquer. France should still be defeated, but it will cost the Germans a lot more, especially if France chooses the extra air force option. In terms of extra units destroyed because of the extra air force, I’d guess at least 30 BRPs worth of units, possibly more.

Allied Variant #17 –France Extends Maginot Line to Channel 20 BRPs

This variant does not say it directly, but if the maginot is extended to the English channel, then the rule restricting British units in the “maginot” means that Great Britain cannot form the first line of defense. But, being quadrupled on defense means the French should have at least 4 power on every hex from Switzerland to the English Channel. They can’t be unquadrupled by the airborne. Every hex will defend with at least 16 power. That’s a big difference than normal because normally there’s at least one hex that only defends at 10 power (e.g. a 2-3 french infantry + a 3-5 french tank doubled to 10 total). If you can defend with at least 16 in every hex the Germans can still get 2:1 odds, but they’d have to throw everything into one hex and hope they don’t roll exchanges. An exchange when 2 infantry are defending will cost the Germans their expensive units.

Faced with trying to go through quadrupled hexes, the German may decide it is easier to go south through Italy, but that usually takes longer. This variant should delay France’s defeat and also cost the Germans quite a few extra BRPs, but it depends on the rolls. If the Germans roll counter-attacks or a 6 (D) then they will bust through without taking any losses and this variant could not make much matter at all.

Very likely the Germans lose extra men they wouldn’t lose otherwise without this variant and very likely this variant delays France’s conquer by a turn, but probably not enough to stop Germany.

Let’s assume Germany rolls an exchange. Germany attacks one French hex with units from two hexes. So, three German 3-3 infantry + one German 4-6 tank attack the French. That’s 13 power of units for the Germans. Then the Germans throw in enough air power to get 2:1 odds and save 10 air back to intercept the French. If an exchange is rolled then the Germans, wanting to at least advance with a unit, will lose the 9 power worth of infantry and the rest of the losses the German will take in air in order to preserve the tank to advance. That means Germany would lose 7 air (21 BRPs worth of air). That’s 30 BRPs total lost by Germany to advance into one hex. That’s a lot, but only comes into play if they roll a big exchange. If a small exchange is rolled, then the Germans only lose 2 infantry to match the four power of the French that was lost.

A big exchange won’t be rolled that often. So, it is questionable how much extra this variant will cost the Germans compared to normal. I value this variant at around 20 BRPs.

Allied Variant #18 –Spanish Civil War Won by Loyalists 30 BRPs.

It is hard for France to survive until 1941. So in many games this variant will be worth nothing. It costs 35 BRPs to declare war, but when an active minor ally is activated, you get their BRP value, which is 30 for Spain. So, maybe I’m wrong, but this costs a net of -5 BRPs to play. Switching allegiance to Great Britain is interesting.

Also interesting is that if the roll is a ‘6’ then Spain is loyal to Russia, but can’t enter unless Russia is at war with Germany. So, there’s a 1 in 6 chance that even with this variant that Spain won’t enter until even later than Spring 1941.

If France has survived into 1941, then there’s a good chance Spain will survive into the 1942 YSS, so either France (or GB) will likely get Spain’s BRPs in 1942. Of course, if France is still in the game in 1942, then the game is already over at that point.

If France is conquered, but the Allies have Spain, and can rebuild Spain’s units, then there is a strategic value to Spain because it is on the Med front. If the Axis want to take Spain out they will have to spend money on offensives in the Med and continue to defend against occasional British sea invasions in mainland France on the west. It can be very costly to try to take offensives on two fronts several times in a row. The Axis could just ignore Spain, but I think that decision would likely come back to hurt them later.

I would put this variant’s value at 30, but understand the likelihood of France surviving that long is not good. Many times this variant is worthless.

Allied Variant #19 –No Winter War 35 BRPs
Basically, Germany won’t get BRPs for Finland. Maybe more strategic is that Russia does not have to protect its flank. The only attacks will come from the west and Russia can concentrate her forces there instead of committing resources to defend and/or attack Finland.

The loss of the BRPs will happen for sure in 1941 and again in 1942. The Germans will lose at least 20 BRPs. In some games Finland is still in the game in 1943, but often not.

Additionally, with Finland for sure out, the Allies (British) can focus their foreign aid on other countries. Russia can make sure Hungary is out and GB can make sure that Bulgaria is out. This variant allows the allies to focus all their foreign aid on just two countries (Hungary and Bulgaria) and probably means that the only minor that Germany will get is Romania. Allowing the allies to focus all their foreign aid BRPs on Hungary and Bulgaria probably guarantees those countries do not activate either. The allies might have been able to prevent Hungary and Bulgaria from activating (with or without this variant), but the likelihood is much higher with the variant. I value this higher likelihood at about 5 BRPs extra per year (1941 when they should have activated) and again in 1942 YSS and 1943 YSS. For another 15 BRPs of value.

Total value then is 20 BRPs for Finland’s loss + about 15 for the other minors’ loss.

Allied Variant #20 –Roosevelt Outfoxes Isolationists a/k/a US enters early de minimus up to guaranteed allied victory

Basically the US is extremely likely to enter early, anywhere starting from Winter 1940. There also exists the possibility that despite this variant the US enters the war at its normal time. For example, if you keep rolling 1s, then the US does not enter the war early.

In exchange for entering early, the US base BRPs are reduced and the US forces available at start are reduced, but they can be built.

If the US enters in winter 1940 or spring 1941, the US can also build for SW. This adds great value. The best case scenario, in my opinion, is if the US enters in Winter 1940 and spends half its BRPs declaring war and building fleets that turn. That will leave the US with 72 BRPs. The US will then grow at 60%, which is 43 BRPs and will start 1941 with 145 + 43 = 188 BRPs.

If entry occurs in 1940 then the allies will build an extra 6 strategic warfare in 1941 YSS and at a minimum an extra 6 strategic warfare in 1942 YSS. This will save approximately 36 BRPs and will likely mean that the US and GB turn the SW game against Germany. The savings are significant. If the US and GB turn the corner on Germany in SW, then Germany will be having to take air off the board, which also has significant value.

Of course, what is more likely to happen is the US enters the war in 1941 sometime. If it is Spring 1941, the US still gets to build SW which results the same as above.

As US forces start to get deployed into France and/or Great Britain, there should be no chance at all that Germany defeats GB. If France is still in the game in Winter 1940, the Axis were probably already going to lose the game anyway, but this variant will basically ensure the Axis defeat.

In my estimate this variant comes close to guaranteeing victory for the Allies if the US enters in Winter 1940 or Spring 1941. If the US enters in Summer 1941 they don’t get to participate in the SW builds for 1941. It would still be a very tough game for the Axis to win though. It would take major blunders by the British and/or Russian to lose if the US enters that early. If the US does not enter until Fall 1941 (that’s still 2 turns early) there’s still a chance for the Axis. If the US enters in Winter 1941 (1 turn early) then the axis got really lucky on the rolls and the Axis have a good chance of playing a normal game.

Like the Axis counterpart, this variant provides anywhere from a negligible help to the allies (i.e. 1 turn early entry) to nearly guaranteed victory (i.e. Winter 1940 entry).
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