Jeremy Fridy
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Those of you who follow 3rd Reich here may have seen some talk of a Panzerschreck magazine (Minden Games) variant to 3rd Reich in Issue #2. This was a game they called Classic Third Reich. I was lucky enough to pick this up several years back and can offer you a review after 3 games of it.

The Basics: The article (By Gary Graber) opens with a proclamation of love for Rise and Decline of the Third Reich, but then speaks of how where Advanced Third Reich added more to everything, he began to look back to the classic AH games of his youth, like Waterloo, Stalingrad, or Gettysburg. These games were very easy to learn, and offered a fast, I-go U-go system. With this in mind, he remade Third Reich with the classic CRT and a goal of a simple 2 player campaign game.

The core rules are 4 pages long.

Components: It uses pretty much all of the Original 3rd Reich game. Dig out your copy, you will only use the military units (and the calendar markers) Also you only use 9 Strength fleets and 5-4 Air units. Set ups are just as the cards say. You will also need a "classic" CRT, provided in the book, though I made a larger one for easier reading.

The game is reduced to simplicity. 3 phases, Axis go first each turn.

1. Move
2. Combat
3. Construction

Stacking: 2 Ground Units a space, also 1 Air Unit may be stationed in a city or port. 3 Fleets may also fit in a port.

Movement Phase: No terrain penalties in movement, you can perform overruns if you can reach 7-1 odds at the battle area, this stops the units overrunning them (they may advance into the hex,) but other units may move through them. Units must stop if they move into an enemy ZOC. Strategic Movement allows you to double move if you never enter or leave a ZOC during the move. Air units can rebase if they are not used in combat that turn.

Transport and Invasions: Fleets may ferry units on a 1 to 1 basis through sea zones. You may also invade with fleets into beaches, though if you do not clear the beach the landing forces are eliminated.

Combat: It's very old school. The combat chart is AE,AR,EX,DR,DE. You know this stuff. Air units may add their strength to one battle a turn if within range. Defenders get double defense if defending rough terrain, Capitals, or Red Objectives, triple strength for beacheads and fortresses. Air units have no defense strength, and are lost if enemy move into them.

Supply: Being out of supply has no effect on movement or combat, but if you are out of supply at the end of combat, you are eliminated.

Armor weirdness: Armor has a special version of a ZOC. If you are in the ZOC of enemy armor, you must attack them on your turn. This seems a little odd, but I understand it a bit like the Counterblow in No Retreat! Enemy Armor must be delt with by attacking it, or you have to bow back to avoid contact. You can sacrifice a weak force of course.

Construction: Each turn you get Construction points (CPs,) a base for a country, plus 1 CP for each Red Objective City you control. Units costs are simple, Infantry 1, Armor 2, Air 3, Fleets 6. Also the Western Allies may build SAC for 3 CPs (1 per turn for Britain and the US,) and the Germans may build 2 Subs a turn for 2 CP each.

Strategic Warfare: When you build, you get less CPs if the enemy has SAC or Subs. You can negate SAC by deploying Air units in the Strategic Warfare Box, and negate Subs with Fleets in the Strategic Warfare Box. Units sent to the box never return, but are never destroyed.

There are about 2 pages covering special situations such as politics, conquest of nations, paratroops, convoys, Malta, victory conditions, fortresses and more.

The last 2 pages of the rules cover the variant counters, explaining how each can work in a chart.

That's it. 8 Pages of rules. They are pretty clearly written and logical. Only the armor ZOC thing is really not common to many wargames.



So how does it play?

Well, in the notes, Gary makes a valid point. This is an aggressive game, since you can't use air on defense, and you don't move after combat except to take the hex.

The basic game seems really solid. It's fun, and can be easily finished in an evening.

Biggest complaint? The naval rules. Since there is no naval combat, you can't ever be safe. In 1944, the Germans might use their navy to do a landing in England as the Allies take Paris, and you would think by then you could cut down on the coastal defenses.

Is it realistic? Not that much. Is it a better game than the original? Well, it's definitely so different that that's not really a fair question. On the other hand this made me pick up and use my copy of 3rd Reich that I hadn't touched in over a decade. I never could pick up the rules when I was younger, and the local groups played WiF or Totaler Krieg (my favorite ETO monster, for the record.) So it sat. Now I've played it 3 times, we know we could play it in an evening (I have a kid and 3 cats, so overnight is not happening for now.) It's got me working on my Turtledove timeline 191 series inspired wargame again, because using this as a template could make something short enough that I could play it out with friends and actually test it some.

Also I'm classic tinkerer with games. I whipped up some naval rules more to my liking, and I also came up with a pile of extra variants. I've posted card versions of my variants as well as the originals to the geek. I'll get more out once I think it's cleaned up some.

Has anyone else looked at these? Opinions?
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Lewis Goldberg
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I wonder if we could get permission from Gary Graber to post the rules here. I'll give it a shot and let you know.
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I have a copy, but have never played it. Seems like something I may be able to talk my daughter into playing.
 
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Quote:
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 09:31:47 -0700
From: lewis_goldberg@-----.com
Subject: Permission for an Article repost
To: minden2@------.com

Mr. Graber,

A person has done a review of a Third Reich variant called "Classic Third Reich" which was published in Panzerschreck #2. (here's the link: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9690848#9690848 )

I wanted to see if it is possible to get permission to post those rules on BGG as a file attached to the Third Reich page.

Thanks,

Lewis Goldberg

Hi Lewis,

Sure, you have my permission to post this article on the BBG 3rd Reich page. I hope that it brings fun to gamers.

Best,

Gary Graber
Minden Games
http://minden_games.homestead.com


There you go! Jeremy, if you don't have access to a scanner, maybe someone else can step forward. I don't have the magazine, so someone else will need to do it.
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Jeremy Fridy
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I have a scanner. I'll put them up shortly. I'll also work on my other optional rules for it.

In the short term I could mail the files, but it will hopefully post quickly.
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It's up!

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/80882/classic-3rd-reich
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steve leiter
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Jeremy two questions about how you interpret the scan:
You said "...get double defense if defending rough terrain, Capitals....

But the scanned rules list ***swamp*** by name, the scan does not list mountain [as double defense] and does not call it Rough.

Was this a word omission, or was this intention to soft defensive advantage over much of the map ?

Also you said "...If you are in the ZOC of enemy armor, you must attack them on your turn"

But the scanned rules make ***adjacency*** to armor the requirement (to attack the stack).

I ask this in regards to armor in fortress, does the fortress-negated ZOC also remove the attack requirement, or, does adjacency compel attack on armor in fortress regardless of the lack of ZOC ?

I'm just wondering how you interpreted the scanned rules when you played your three games. Tx, Steve
 
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sleiter wrote:
Jeremy two questions about how you interpret the scan:
You said "...get double defense if defending rough terrain, Capitals....

But the scanned rules list ***swamp*** by name, the scan does not list mountain [as double defense] and does not call it Rough.

Was this a word omission, or was this intention to soft defensive advantage over much of the map ?

Also you said "...If you are in the ZOC of enemy armor, you must attack them on your turn"

But the scanned rules make ***adjacency*** to armor the requirement (to attack the stack).

I ask this in regards to armor in fortress, does the fortress-negated ZOC also remove the attack requirement, or, does adjacency compel attack on armor in fortress regardless of the lack of ZOC ?

I'm just wondering how you interpreted the scanned rules when you played your three games. Tx, Steve


Valid points!

I assumed mountains got the defensive terrain bonus.
I also used the fortress negates the ZOC both in and out. Armor is scary enough, when you combine it with the overrun it can make France a dangerous place in 1940, since as you advance on Paris, the Allies MUST attack or give ground, and sometimes that's just not a good idea.
 
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steve leiter
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Great!
That is what I assumed also. My justification for Maginot is that it is "moated" by the Rhine just like Leningrad and Sevastopol are moated to a great degree. Hence adjacency to armor in a fortress does NOT compel attack.

One house rule I use is, that soak-off must at least be on-the-CRT, i.e. at least 1:6. Else, you could have little incentive to not use ridiculously low soak-offs.

I assume Russia can pay for replacements for an Axis-attacked unconquered neutral, prior to 1942, I assume "scenario cards" means that Germany must keep a 25 factor garrison in the East to keep Russian DeWa at bay (but fleets may count), and I assume Italy can give DoD assistance to Turkey if Turkey is attacked by Russia, without breaking Mlotov-Ribbentrop.


Mechanic-wise, it is interesting that 1-3 Inf can conveniently be overrun by a 3-3 and 4-6 stack but a 2-3 Inf needs TWO air fleets for overrun (until heavy armor is available).

So far I have played a 'learning game' and am currently in Fall 1941 approaching the gates of Moscow. You are correct this game plays fast! And only 329 counters, as opposed to original Third Reich having over 550. I'm glad you posted this and that Grognards cross-posted to it.
-Steve
 
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sleiter wrote:
Great!
That is what I assumed also. My justification for Maginot is that it is "moated" by the Rhine just like Leningrad and Sevastopol are moated to a great degree. Hence adjacency to armor in a fortress does NOT compel attack.

One house rule I use is, that soak-off must at least be on-the-CRT, i.e. at least 1:6. Else, you could have little incentive to not use ridiculously low soak-offs.

I assume Russia can pay for replacements for an Axis-attacked unconquered neutral, prior to 1942, I assume "scenario cards" means that Germany must keep a 25 factor garrison in the East to keep Russian DeWa at bay (but fleets may count), and I assume Italy can give DoD assistance to Turkey if Turkey is attacked by Russia, without breaking Mlotov-Ribbentrop.


Mechanic-wise, it is interesting that 1-3 Inf can conveniently be overrun by a 3-3 and 4-6 stack but a 2-3 Inf needs TWO air fleets for overrun (until heavy armor is available).

So far I have played a 'learning game' and am currently in Fall 1941 approaching the gates of Moscow. You are correct this game plays fast! And only 329 counters, as opposed to original Third Reich having over 550. I'm glad you posted this and that Grognards cross-posted to it.
-Steve


Remember only 1 air unit can be used in a battle for each ground unit.

Also to lessen the pain of the 2-1 roll a 6, I treat the AE result slightly different. I treat it like an exchange, but the defender losing nothing. That way you only lose the defender's strength, and may still have some tatters holding the line in the space.
 
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steve leiter
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What I do to off set 2:1 AE is let the attacker roll for an Option, if it is a significant AE say for example 15 factors or higher are lost. Tactically, I simply attack with the bare 2:1 and often have a non-attacking unit in a hex (especially with air). Rationale is, even if a big attack is a disaster, the factor that it is attempted could be impressive to some neutral countries. If the rolled-for Option is obsolete or already in-play, it is a lost opportunity, no re-roll. By motivating each side to take chances, it is in keeping with the 'attack' nature of the game, and keeps the big changes happening. Not too many options actually occur.
 
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Here was my naval rules for the classic variant.

Ok, I really liked the simplicity of the Classic Third Reich Rules, but felt that naval warfare was a little too abstracted, since fleets could never be lost, and therefore the Axis could always threaten invasion as long as they have ports, something rather unlikely after 1942 historically. Having to keep a few men on the beach in case a 1944 Sealion invasion as you liberate Paris seems a bit much of a stretch. So I came up with this.

Before Movement phase begins, fleets can enter or leave sea zones. If you want to transport forces at sea, you must have ships in the sea zones they are passing through, one for each unit passing through. Important notes...

1. You must control Kiel to move from the Baltic to the Atlantic.
2. You must control Gibraltar to move from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
3. You must control Istanbul to move from the Mediterranean to the Black sea.

If you move fleets into an enemy held sea zone, you must fight a sea battle. This is done during movement, I would recommend all naval movement being done before other movement.

NAVAL BATTLE RULES

Each side rolls as many dice as they have fleets in the battle. Then you apply dice to your opponent, one die per opposing fleet (the larger force will get to apply the dice of their choice, the excess are discarded.) The fleets are then put in the Fleet Repair Box based on your roll, with a 6 removing the fleet to the force pool.

The Fleet Repair Box is a line of boxes going 0,1,2,3,4,5

During Construction phase, you may spend points to move them up in the boxes at a one for one basis, and when you remove the last point you return them to a port in your home country. During construction phase you can spend CP to move ships up the Fleet Repair Box, one space per CP. If the unit ends up in the 0 box, it can be put into play as a normal fleet is built.



OK, what does this do? Well, fleets can be used to contest opposing fleets in sea zones, and with luck you can damage opposing fleets enough to really hurt their economy to rebuild them (Italy really suffers from this.)

Now that was the basic idea, but I added a few rules to make it work better, allowing more options and a slow repair rule so it doesn't wreck the basic economy rules.

1. If you have air units in the ports near the battle zone, they can each add one to a die roll. I also thought of only letting the larger air force get the difference. Opinions?

2. Fleets in the fleet box repair one space on the fleet box at the end of each turn. This allows a non destroyed fleet to slowly recover without spending money, so that CP levels of nations are not thrown off now that you will be spending a lot more money on ships.

3. Fleets can now be moved out of the Strategic Warfare box.

4. Allow one Western Allied unit a turn to go around Africa from the Atlantic to Suez, this allows the allies to actually reinforce the Med if they lose Gibraltar.

Do these make sense? Opinions?
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Chris Thompson
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Freitag wrote:
Here was my naval rules for the classic variant.


Each side rolls as many dice as they have fleets in the battle. Then you apply dice to your opponent, one die per opposing fleet (the larger force will get to apply the dice of their choice, the excess are discarded.) The fleets are then put in the Fleet Repair Box based on your roll, with a 6 removing the fleet to the force pool.

T


Quick question, lets say it's a 3v3 fleet, Italians vs British.

Italians roll a 5,5,2 and the British roll a 6,4,3.

Do highest rolls match? so the British win the 5-6, lose the 5-4, and win the 2-3, right?

I think the air support is a little too much, but I like the auto-repair. Maybe pulling a fleet out of the SW box should go into the 1-fleet repair box? Some lag time for repairs and refits?
 
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Jeremy Fridy
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cpthomp wrote:
Freitag wrote:
Here was my naval rules for the classic variant.


Each side rolls as many dice as they have fleets in the battle. Then you apply dice to your opponent, one die per opposing fleet (the larger force will get to apply the dice of their choice, the excess are discarded.) The fleets are then put in the Fleet Repair Box based on your roll, with a 6 removing the fleet to the force pool.

T


Quick question, lets say it's a 3v3 fleet, Italians vs British.

Italians roll a 5,5,2 and the British roll a 6,4,3.

Do highest rolls match? so the British win the 5-6, lose the 5-4, and win the 2-3, right?

I think the air support is a little too much, but I like the auto-repair. Maybe pulling a fleet out of the SW box should go into the 1-fleet repair box? Some lag time for repairs and refits?


The British Fleets will need 2,5, and 5 turns to repair unless you pay. The Italians have a fleets lost for 3 and 4 turns, and the last is lost totally and put in the force pool where a new purchase can bring it back.

Since all fleets are off the board, no one holds the sea. The Italians are really going to feel the pain of having to buy back that dead fleet though. The Italians have a really good navy, until they start losing it and not having the economy to replace it.

The idea is based on the Delay Box from Totaler Krieg, where fleets and air units are used as markers and go away for 1d6 turns when you use them.
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Ok, sorry, I missed the phrase 'apply your rolls to the enemy fleet'. That's a cool system. Thanks for the clarification.
 
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Jeremy Fridy
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I long ago learned that making rules that you personally understand make sense to someone reading your idea is an INCREDIBLY difficult task.
 
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That's precisely why our laws are such a confusing mess!

We pass a law. Everybody rushes to court to have judges decide what it MEANS. Then the agencies write piles and piles of regulations.

"We have to pass the bill to see what's in it." - N. Pelosi
 
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Yeah, in Ohio a law was passed that said all auctions in Ohio have to be run by a licensed auctioneer. The licence requires a fair bit of time and money, which is why professional auctioneers pushed to have the law passed, and why they charge such high rates.

So after the law was passed, people noticed that if you took it exactly as it was written, it also covered online auctions, so Ebay was suddenly brought in to it. They quickly fixed the problem and changed the wording, but it shows what can happen. It's also why the once great Origins game auction is a shadow of its former self.
 
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Konstantinos K
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I have to say that I am not a fan of the battle mechanics of "Stalingrad", soak-offs and the like, and indeed what this variant does is completely taking away the beautiful mechanics of 3R! I believe, if someone were to make a simplified 3R variant should keep the mechanics of combat and exploitation exactly the same while removing all the "chrome rules" that either complicate the play by adding unnecessary time and complication and/or create disagreements on rule interpretations and confuse new players. Several of those rules benefit the one or the other side, so if they are removed together, the effects on play balance are not going to be very significant.
Indeed, I am working to make such a variant and I can share a preliminary draft if the community is interested.
 
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I say go for it! I want more variations and less rules.
 
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Konstantinos K
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See below:
Simplified 3R variant (only a DRAFT!)
1) rule 10. NO YSS, NO SW! UK scenario card has 90 BRP, USSR has 120 BRP at 1939. YSS is only to multiply unused BRP by growth rate and add result to BRP level for new year (as in 1939-40) and determine spending limits!
No "growth" or "bases". Everything is multiplied by pct and added next year like in 1939-40. So omit rule 10.2 alter 10.3 calcs to 10.35 for every year. Also: Per-turn Spending limit is 1/3 (rounded down) and not 1/2! Exception 1939, in which it is 1/2. This is necessary because of elimination of initiative rule, as there is a need to counterbalance unrestricted "spending sprees".
2) rule 12. Eliminate initiative rule, except for the Sp-Su 42, when the allies take a double move. Axis moves first until Spring 1942. From Summer 1942, allies move first. (But look at item 26 that makes this only an option). Eliminate pass option/pass option movement restrictions and allow different allies on the same front to take an offensive and an attrition option, but don't allow an attrition roll if there has been any offensive missions or ground attacks on that front.
3) 16.71 eliminate Initial Deployment limits and restrictions, but limit US total SR to 7. They can all be initial Deployments OR Whatever the US player wants to do.
4) 16.8 eliminate Murmansk box and its rules. BRPs to Russia only by Lend-Lease, but also allow up to a max. of 10BRP per turn to be donated from UK or US (or a combination of both), outside the lend lease route with no Sea Escort. (Same way as US donates to UK).
5) 18. Attrition can be taken anywhere, but attrition rolls can only occur in a front an actively allied power had taken no offensive missions or ground attacks.
6) Rule 19 pass option void
7) Rule 20, same but note there is no pass option
8) Rule 21: no changes, but note no miniturns for minors (unless opposing major power not at war with anyone)
9) Rule 22: no changes, but note on "automatic interventions" below)
10) Rule 23: intervention in all countries by opponent already at war is considered automatic, and they can move units there during their movement phase freely. (No independent turns for the minor! They will still receive the BRP even if they don't move units in, if the minor still controls its capital at the start of the year. But unlike the situation with automatic intervention for minor allies intervening power cannot fly DAS to oppose initial attacks. Intervention when opposing power not at war with anyone already, (for example Russian attack on Turkey) is not allowed, unless opponent declares war at the same turn. Otherwise, it is the only situation there will be an actual "miniturn" for a minor.
5) Rule 24: no coop conquest and split of BRPs. Whoever controls the capital gets all the BRP.
6) Rule 25. No garrisons needed, but also no German forces allowed in their minor allies, while they are neutral! But Russia cannot attack them before Fall 1941, unless Germany violates the pact (by going below 20 factors etc., but see no 25 below). If a Western power attacks them, then intervention is automatic and Germans can fly DAS etc. (From outside the country). They immediately move together with Germany, and Germany can move units in them during movement phase.
7) Rule 26. APPLY 24.21 and 24.23 also for conquest of major powers.
Ignore 26.7 (Italian surrender) and 26.8 (no Vichy and no rules preventing French attacks other than Paris, or in low odd etc). Also, French can voluntarily destruct units (modify rule 6). France is conquered normally. North African Colonies become minor neutrals with whatever forces are in there. Require one DoW each, (so 10BRP to DOW Tunisia, 10BRP To DOW Algeria etc.). ! Lebanon Syria becomes automatically a UK colony with no forces (whatever French unit is there is eliminated). UK will get the 5BRP.
Rule 26.8 Forget Russian surrender rules! Russia will fall if Germany occupies Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad and Grozny, at the end of a Russian combat phase, and Germany has to remove from the board AND its force pool an equal factor force in Russia as the current Russian active forces at the time of surrender (original Russian territory only). It cannot use minor allied forces to do so, unless there are not enough German factors in Russian territory at that time to satisfy that requirement. Russia is permanently out of play.
8) rule 27 supply: no changes
9) rule 28. No airbase counters but have 10AF limit for one-city hexes and 15AF limit for 2 city hexes. No other changes other than assume unlimited partial counters of any mix and ignore partials rule. Recombine or breakdown air counters any time at will without worrying on partials.
10) rule 29. movement of fleets cannot be intercepted! It is like staging of air, and is automatically successful! But all actual offensive missions can be intercepted normally. Interceptions on 1-20 range are automatic, while from 21- cannot happen. Fleets can break down and recombine like air, with no partials restrictions. No break-off combat shenaningans... Ignore 29.13 Kiel canal repair. It is always a 2-front port.
11) rule 32, No partisans of any kind! Ignore.
12) rule 33, No variants, foreign aid, turkey activation etc. ignore all these.
13) rule 34, Anglofrench cooperation restrictions. Keep rule as is, but look at item 25.
14) rule 35, ignore, but only allow up to 10 German Ground or AF to be supported from North African ports, as long as the Allies control Malta. No need to count. They also can only supply up to a maximum of 10 factors from Antioch, Beirut, Haifa and Port Said.
15) rule 36. No lent Italians. Ignore 36.2 if Italian units participate in any attacks or offensive missions Italy has to pay the 15 BRP for an offensive.
16) rule 37. Gibraltar Keep the rule, as is.
17) rule 40. Keep the rule as is but keep in mind allies can always transfer A Maximum Of 10BRP to Russia each turn (with no losses or cost) outside Lend Lease with no problem.
18) rule 41. Forget all Malta special rules and restrictions. But keep 41.3 (loss of limited supply capability upon of Fall of Gibraltar and Egypt)
19) rule 42. Ignore Murmansk and its box completely!
20) rule 43. Poland east Europe keep as is. But look at item. 25!
21) rule 44. Ignore, Russian winter details, but just don't allow Germany to take any offensive options in the Eastern front in Winter 1940 or Winter 1941. But all of its units defend normally.
22) rule 45. Russoallied coop. Make it exactly the same as AngloFrench. No more restrictive, consec attacks etc...
23) rule 47. Keep the 25BRP loss, but forget about Suez Canal damage, repair etc. (47.3)
24) rule 49. Ignore completely! There no Vichy forces. Germany controls France, upon the Fall of France.
25) ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL SIMPLIFICATION: Void also simultaneously rule 34, (AngloFrench coop) and the 20 factor east-front garrison requirement for the Germans to keep the Russians neutral. This should balance things out somewhat...But remember though that RussoAllied coop rules (which are now like the same as Anglofrench) will still stand.
26) OPTIONAL: keep initiative determination as in the rulebook, but remember that double move defenses and worries add a lot into playing time, and complicate play. Removal of the initiative rule simplifies play by a great deal, but also takes out some necessary excitement!
DISCLAIMER: Effects on play balance unknown...I expect feedback from playtesting by the community.


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steve leiter
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Play-testing Naval Combat Rules
I have been play-testing naval combat rules, and have come full circle to a different conclusion. The Original objection to no-naval combat and no-naval-loss, was having to occupy beaches to protect UK from indestructible German fleets. A more elegant solution may be simply to let 4-hex away friendly air roll for interference on an occupied beach hex. This provides "RAF" defense and frees-up ground troops, albeit with risk. The mechanics proposed are, an air force within 4 hex range decides to interfere with the landing, and rolls a 1d6. on a 1-2, the flak on the troop transports and landing barges has destroyed the air force, with no ill effect and the beach head is established. On a 3-4 the air raid is ineffectual, but does not consume a mission for that air force (this is a brief raid, not a sustained campaign). On a 5-6, another 1d6 is rolled and the result is the number of ground factors destroyed in the landing party, round up for loss of integral unit(s). All beach-defending air forces within range can take their stab at defending open beaches. Note that this helps Italy on defense, North African beaches on defense, similar to British Islands.
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