Rise and Decline of the Third Reich is a classic old Avalon Hill wargame of WW2 in Europe, that has spawned many successor games of increasing complexity, seeking greater realism by plugging various exploitable features of the original. But something has been lost in those successor designs – the playable simplicity of the original. This revised system seeks to preserve most of that playable simplicity while revising just sufficient aspects of the original to give a more realistic and believable simulation.
Fixed turn order
The Axis powers move first in all turns; some scenarios may start with the western allied player turn with the Axis player turn having already happened, but still the Axis turn is first in each new full game turn. The allies move second, and if played with 3 players, then the USSR moves second and the western allies (UK, France, and US) move last. Ignore completely the BRP initiative determination and “double move” systems of the original.
Revised Third Reich can be played with more than 3 players only by using teams, who win or lose together. The USSR is always a single player, but the western Allies may have one player for the UK and the other for the French and Americans, and the Axis may have two players for Germany and Italy. The turn order is still fixed as described in the previous paragraph and the Axis and western allies move together, with a single combat phase, etc.
Normal turn sequence of play
Each player turn consists of the following steps –
Declare option for each region (offensive, attrition, or pass option)
Regional moves are resolved together in one unified sequence following the steps below, but actions within each region (especially combat) are limited by that region’s option. Units that move from one region into another are subject to the limitations of the region they end their move within.
Movement phase (including naval missions in offensive option only)
Air missions (offensive option only)
Interception phase (non phasing player air and naval reactions)
Combat phase (order – air, naval, land)
Mechanized movement phase (offensive only, weather permitting, full MPs armor only)
Mechanized combat phase (offensive only, weather permitting, armor&air only)
Supply and isolation attrition phase
Then conduct the following just once for all regions combined, for the active powers
Build phase (purchase and place new units)
Strategic deployment phase (land and sea SRs within nation limits)
Strategic warfare phase (submarine attack for the German player, bombing attack for the western Allies, one round each game turn).
Then proceed to the next player.
For Attrition option, replace Air missions through Mechanized combat phase with Attrition phase. The rest of the turn before and after that is the same.
For the Pass option, as with the Attrition option but skipping the attrition phase, so movement is immediately followed by the supply and isolation attrition phase.
The above is the normal sequence of play. In each Spring season only, there is also a Year Start Phase for each of the blocks and powers, conducted in their normal turn order.
Each front – western, eastern, and southern – on which the power is engaged can pick a different option each game turn, from the choices “offensive”, “attrition”, and “pass”. Normally the USSR will only have an option for the eastern front and the western allies only for the western and southern fronts. An offensive option costs 10 BRPs and allows all phases, air and naval missions, mechanized movement and combat phases in clear weather. An attrition options costs 5 BRPs and allows the attrition phase in place of the combat phase, and only one movement phase before that attrition phase. A pass option costs no BRPs and has no combat except strategic warfare and (spring only) possible Murmansk convoy combat.
Exception – offensive options in the Mediterranean cost only 5 BRPs through 1941 inclusive, to reflect the smaller forces generally engaged there.
Changes to turns
Revised 3rd Reich uses 5 turns per year instead of 4, with Summer divided into Summer I and Summer II turns. This reflects the higher operating tempo armies were able to sustain in the better weather of the middle of the year. Year interphases with new BRP awards and so forth still happen in each Spring turn, that just now happens once every 5 turns starting with the 3rd, instead of once every 4 turns. Except where otherwise noted, BRPs for the year are still the same as in the original.
There is no regular Year Start sequence in the Spring 1940 turn, as only 2 turns have elapsed. Instead there is a shorter special Year Start for that case only. All other Spring turns begin with the full Year Start sequence, starting in the Spring of 1941, which will be turn 8 of the full campaign.
The campaign game ends (assesses victory) after the Summer I turn of 1945, using the 4E rules (two player or multiplayer) for controlled victory locations needed for different levels of victory. Since 1945 also has only 2 turns in it as a result, in the 1945 year start phase BRP income for the 1945 year is first calculated normally, but only 40% of that total is received.
The turn order in revised 3rd Reich is fixed, with the Axis powers always moving first. Ignore the rule cases about BRP totals determining turn order and the resulting “double moves” – too gamey and unrealistic. If played with 3 players, the Axis still moves first, with the USSR moving second and the western Allies moving last.
Weather, regions, and seasons
Revised 3rd Reich has four regions for weather purposes, with the weather state determined by the region and season pair. The four regions are Scandinavia, Africa the Middle East and Med islands, Eastern Europe including the USSR, and all the rest of Europe. In Scandinavia the weather state is Snow in winter and spring seasons, and Clear in Summer I, Summer II, and Fall seasons. In Eastern Europe including the USSR, the weather state is Snow in winter, Mud in spring, and Clear in all other seasons. In Africa, the Middle East, and the Med islands, the weather state is Clear in all seasons. In the rest of Europe, the weather state is Snow in winter and Clear in all other seasons.
Scandinavia for these purposes is restricted to Norway, Sweden, and Finland, as well as the Baltic for naval actions. All of North Africa, the middle east south of but not including Turkey, and all islands in the Med e.g. Corsica, Sardina, Sicily, Malta, Crete, etc – are all the same weather area in which it is Clear all year. This includes the Med for air and naval operations as well as all of its islands for land operations. Eastern Europe is the entire Eastern zone by the black dividing lines, except Scandinavia as defined above.
Weather has effects on allowed levels of combat air support, naval and air combat effectiveness rolls, strategic warfare effectiveness rolls, defensive combat strength benefits, allowed air drops, isolation attrition rolls. In addition, Clear weather conditions allow a mechanized movement phase and mechanized combat phase after ordinary movement and combat, while Snow and Mud weather eliminate these phases. Mud weather state also reduces mechanized unit movement allowances and prevents either side from earning armor advantage DRMs in combat.
Special Spring 1940 Weather
In the Spring 1940 turn, the weather in the Scandinavia region is Clear. (It would normally be Snow in this region and season).
1940 Year Start Sequence
The Spring of 1940 turn – turn 3 in the full campaign – is the first full year start, but only 2 turns will have elapsed when it is reached. As such, powers to do not zero out their BRP totals and receive a new full year’s income. Instead, the BRP base of each power is adjusted for any conquests made during 1939 and any minor powers that have joined either camp. Then each power receives new BRPs equal to 40% of their new BRP base, added to their existing BRP total. Next, determine the Strategic Warfare spending limits of Germany and the UK based on their new BRP base, set at 10% of BRP base for each of submarines and interceptors for Germany, the same for the UK for ASW, and 15% of BRP base for bombers for the UK. Record these maximums.
In revised 3rd Reich, strategic warfare is resolved every turn, with “hits” on the BRP base of targeted powers accumulating during the year but not yet taking effect. Strategic warfare expenditure is not allowed until the Spring 1940 turn, which is the first in which Strategic Warfare may be conducted and results recorded. BRP damage to any power’s BRP base will not take effect until the Spring 1941 turn. All “hits” to that base each turn of the year are recorded and accumulated, and they will all impact the targeted power’s BRP base for the following year, starting with 1941. Nothing else needs to be done in the 1940 Year Start Sequence.
1941 and later Year Start Sequences
In all other years, in the year start sequence at the start of each Spring turn, each power in their movement order will go through the steps necessary to adjust both its BRP base and its budget of on hand BRPs. Then each power eligible for conducting Strategic Warfare will determine its BRP maximums for each category of such spending.
Finally, once Russia and then the USA are belligerents, Lend Lease allocations of BRPs from the UK to Russia, and from the USA to the UK or to Russia by northern or southern routes, are funded in the Year Start sequence each Spring. This includes a one time payment by the US of 15 BRPs to open the southern (Iran) route if it wants to use that route that year and in the future.
After calculating the new BRP base for each power, their available BRPs will be set to their base level for the new year, and any lend lease spending deducted and represented by counters moved to transit boxes. That concludes the Year Start Sequence and play produces to the Axis powers for their Spring turn.
BRPs left unspent at the end of a year are removed, but a percentage of them instead are added to that power’s BRP base. The “growth rate” percentages of these are substantially increased, but are applied winter-end “saved” BRPs only, with that “stock” of saved BRPs “lost” in return. These growth rates are – US, 70%; Germany, UK, and USSR, 60%; Italy and France, 50%.
So e.g. if in the winter of 1940 Germany has 85 BRPs unspent, then Germany’s BRP base in 1941 is raised by 0.6 x 85 = 51 BRPs. The 85 BRPs are removed, but Germany’s yearly income increases 51 BRPs. In 1941 Germany will have slightly fewer total BRPs available than if it had spent those 85 BRPs during 1940. But by 1942, it will have received 102 BRPs for the lost 85, a profit of 17 BRPs, and it will continue to receive those +51 BRPs in every subsequent year.
Powers also receive increases to their BRP base for conquests made during the previous year. These only begin to bring in new BRPs in the following Spring Year Start Sequence. So for example, when German conquers Poland its BRP base increases by 20 BRPs. When the USSR occupies eastern Poland, its BRP base increases by 10 BRPs.
The USSR (only) loses BRP income when it loses any of its cities within the prewar USSR, and recovers 50% of those losses if and when those cities are liberated again. See the section below on strategic warfare and the USSR.
And finally, Strategic Warfare “hits” accumulated throughout the previous calendar year are deduced from the target power’s BRP base in the next Year Start Sequence. Strategic Warfare “hits” are earned by firing bombers on the air combat table each turn, and by firing submarines on the naval combat table each turn, and recorded. The accumulated total hits of the previous 5 turns are all deducted from the BRP base of the target power (Germany for bombing, the UK or US – once a belligerent – for submarine warfare at the German player’s option) during its Year Start Sequence calculations.
Lend Lease procedures
Powers can give BRPs to other powers only in very limited amounts and according to definite procedures. After each Year Start sequence, if Italy is a belligerent Germany may elect to give Italy either 0, 5 or 10 BRPs. This transfer is made immediately and cannot be interfered with in any way. The Axis player may not pick other amounts or exceed the 10 BRP limit, nor may Italy transfer BRPs to Germany.
Once the USSR is at war with Germany, the UK may elect to give 20 BRPs to the USSR as lend lease after the Spring Year Start Sequence. They may not give less, it is 20 or nothing. The BRPs are deducted from the UK total immediately and a marker for them sent to the Murmansk Convoy box. The BRP shipment must survive interception in that box during the Spring turn. All that do so arrive in the USSR and are added to its BRP total at the start of its immediately following Summer I turn. If such a shipment is made, it counts as 1 of the UK’s SRs for the Spring turn.
Once the USA is at war with Germany, the US may elect to give 20 BRPs to the UK at the end of any Spring Year Start Sequence. These are not subject to interception and arrive immediately. Simple deduct 20 BRPs from the US “on hand” total and add them to the UK “on hand” total. A different amount may not be sent, and if this transfer is made, it counts as one of the US’s SRs for the Spring turn.
Once the US and USSR are both are war with Germany, the US may elect to give 20 BRPs to the USSR as northern route lend lease in the same manner as the UK above. Again they must survive interception in the Murmansk box during the Spring turn, and those that do so arrive in the Summer I turn. If this election is made, it counts as one of the US’s SRs for the Spring turn.
At any time after the US and USSR are both at war with Germany, the US may spend 15 BRPs to open the southern lend lease route through Iran. In any Year Start Sequence after the US has done so – including one in which the US pays to open the route – the US made elect to send 20 BRPs to the USSR by the southern route, in addition or in place of any sent by the northern route. These are deducted immediately from the US total, arrive in the Summer I turn and are added to the USSR total, and are not subject to interception. If this election is made, it counts as one of the US’s SRs for the Spring turn.
Lend lease may not be sent outside of these limits, on any other turns, or in any other amounts. The lend lease decisions are for the entire year, and always resolve by the end of the spring and arrive or fail to do so in by the Summer I turn.
The Murmansk box and interception of lend lease to the USSR
Normally German Strategic Warfare by submarine targets the UK or (once a belligerent) US economy. But Germany may also dedicate submarine Strategic Warfare assets, and in suitable situations naval fleets and air fleets, to intercepting lend lease shipments from the western allies to Russia by the northern route. This is all handled as naval, air, and strategic warfare “combat” in the Murmansk box.
Lend lease shipments are first assigned to the Murmansk box in Spring turns. In their Summer I turn, the western allies can send escorting fleets and ASW to the Murmansk box after seeing whether there are any German assignments there, though they will not see the quantity of German subs assigned, only whether any have been. Combat in the box is resolved in the western allied combat phase of the Summer I turn, and lend lease shipments are either reduced or destroyed or arrive intact in the USSR. All lend lease BRPs that survive the Summer I Murmansk box combat arrive in the USSR and are added to its on hand BRPs in the western allies Summer I turn. The USSR will first have chance to spend them only in its Summer II turn.
If Germany controls Norway, they may use air and naval assets based there in the Murmansk box. Specifically, any air fleet based at a city in Norway in the German Summer I turn of any year may be moved to the Murmansk box at the German player’s option. Similarly, any German naval fleet at any base in Norway in the Summer I turn of any year may be moved to the Murmansk box at the German player’s option. Last, any portion – including none or all – of the German player’s submarine Strategic Warfare assets may be moved to the Murmansk box in their Summer I turn, inverted to hide their strength. Note that there is no need to send anything to the Murmansk box unless there are lend lease shipments to the USSR in the spring turn of the same year, by the northern route.
Murmansk box combat is only resolved during the Western Allies combat phase of their Summer I turn. In their movement phase, they may move any of their strategic warfare ASW assets to the Murmansk box, and may move any fleets based in England or the US to the Murmansk box. They cannot send air fleets to the Murmansk box.
In the western Allies Summer I turn combat phase, regardless of their options, combat automatically occurs in the Murmansk box if the Germans have anything there and there are any lend lease shipments underway by the northern route. Each German asset type will first fight any allied escorts, then fire on the BRPs being transferred as though conducting strategic warfare. These hits on BRPs reduce not BRP income as in normal stratetic warfare but instead the transferred lend lease BRPs, one time.
The combat order is German air firing at either Allied surface fleets, after which western fleets may fire at German air using 1/3 factors. Surviving German air may then fire again at BRPs. Then German surface fleets fire at Allied surface fleets if present, and Allied surface fleets fire back at any German surface fleets, and this is considered simultaneous with the previous. Any surviving German fleet factors may then fire at BRPs. Next Allied ASW fires at German subs, and the subs reply vs the ASW at 1/2 factors simultaneously, as in normal strategic warfare. Last, surviving German subs fire at BRPs with 2x factors. All BRP hits from air, naval, and subs are deducted from the BRPs that arrive in the USSR. After resolution of Murmansk Convoy combat, all involved units are returned to their bases, submarines and ASW to the strategic warfare box. Note that such subs and ASW do not participate in normal strategic warfare in the same Summer I turn, but can participate in such strategic warfare normally for all other turns of the year.
Note this timing allows western allied ASW factors built in the spring of any year from 1942 onward to be present and available to escort lend lease BRPs sent to the USSR.
Clarifying the full timing sequence, the US or UK or both deduct 20 BRPs from their pool in their spring turn to fund LL to the USSR by the northern route, and put 1 counter in the Murmansk box for each 20 BRPs being sent (max 20 from either power). The German player will see this and know that and how many LL BRPs are being sent to the USSR before allocating assets to the Murmansk box in his Summer I turn. The western allies will see those German allocations – though not the number of subs sent – before making their own Summer I escort allocations. Combat occurs after all of the above, and surviving BRPs arrive in the USSR BRP pool at the end of the western allies combat phase of their Summer I turn.
Conquests, minor allies, and BRP gains from them
Minor countries and regions have BRP amounts associated with them. To conquer a minor country, it is necessary to hold its capital through the end of the enemy’s next player – it does get a chance to recapture its capital. To conquer a region (e.g. French Syria), it is necessary to control every city in that region. While at war, the units of a minor power activate at the same time as their controlling nation, but may perform all operations of any option, without BRP payment for an Offensive, e.g. If they conduct Attrition, they must do so in conjunction with all other friendly forces on in their region, not separately.
Conquered regions add to the BRP base of the conquering country in the next year start phase, but pay nothing until that time. If any region is conquered for a second time, the original conquering power loses those BRPs from its economic base, but the new conqueror does not receive them. (They are considered destroyed or spent by the locals on reconstruction etc).
Minor powers join patrons when an enemy nation attacks them. If they are still belligerents in the next spring Year Start phase, the patron nation receives their BRPs in its economic base. Note that only an unconquered minor ally “pays” to its patron and only a conquered minor enemy “pays” to its conqueror.
If not activated before then, all the Axis Minor Powers – Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Finland – join German in the Summer I turn of 1941 and their units become available at that time. Their BRPs are added to the German economic base in the Spring 1942 Year Start Phase, assuming they haven’t been conquered by the USSR etc in the meantime.
Declarations of war against minor powers cost 5 BRPs, but any number of minor powers can be attacked (and DoWed) for the same 5 BRP cost in the same season. Declarations of war against major powers cost 15 BRPs, and declaring against a single major power creates a state of war against all countries allied with that power. Note that these lower costs and the above procedures fully replace the one-time immediate BRP awards for conquests of the original system.
If Paris is controlled by the Axis at the end of any game turn, France makes peace with Germany forming Vichy France. Occupied France (the north of the country outside of the Vichy boundary) is worth 25 BRPs per year to Germany as a conquered territory. If Germany invades and annexes the rest of metropolitan France, it gains 5 more BRPs income; the remaining 20 BRPs of France’s income are in her 4 colonies, 5 BRPs each for Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Syria. Income from these may be gained by other Allied powers through conquest.
ZOCs and changes to land movement
All units create soft ZOCs into the 6 surrounding hexes with the terrain exceptions noted below. Entering an enemy ZOC costs +1 MP, leaving a ZOC never costs extra. Infantry units entering an enemy ZOC must halt and move no further in that movement phase; armor units may continue moving if their movement allowance permits.
ZOCs extend out of but not into swamp, mountain, and fortress hexes. ZOCs do not extend across political boundaries before declaration of war. ZOCs never extend across sea hexsides or other impassible terrain. ZOCs do extend across rivers.
Friendly units already present negate enemy ZOCs only for purposes of tracing supply or allowing retreat as a combat result; they never reduce the movement cost of entering a hex or allow infantry to continue moving.
Units may normally (exceptions below) move 1 hex in a given movement phase regardless of MP cost (just not across impassible terrain e.g. a sea hexside), and may use this to move directly from one ZOC to another.
The MP cost to enter a swamp or mountain hex is 2 MPs for infantry units and all MPs for armor units (1 hex move only). In addition, armor units may not enter such hexes during a mechanized movement phase, only in a normal movement phase. Crossing a river hexside costs +1 MP. All other hexes cost all units 1 MP.
Seasons do not change movement costs, but snow and mud eliminate the mechanized movement and combat phases completely, and mud reduces the movement allowance of armor units by 1/2, fraction round down.
Air unit movement (staging) and stacking
Air units may move 2x their range in the movement phase before conducting missions – this is called staging. The starting and ending hexes must contain a controlled friendly city or air base, but the route is “by air” and ignores all terrain including sea. Air units can only perform missions from their final hex after staging movement. Only 5 air factors may be stacked in any given city or airbase hex – this is a reduction from the original rules. This stacking limit is imposed at the end of staging movement.
When air units are placed in their mission hexes this is not considered “movement”, and they must return to their starting mission hex at the conclusion of their mission – normally at the end of the next following combat phase.
Air zones and contested air zones
All hexes in range of air units after staging are in an air zone of that air unit. The total air factors that can reach a given hex is the strength of the air zone projected to that hex. A hex that is in the air zone of only one side is always an uncontested air zone. If a side has the same or more air factors within range of an hex in an enemy air zone it contests that air zone. A hex may be a contested air zone for both sides if the air factors that can reach that hex are equal.
Several actions cannot be conducted in an uncontested enemy air zone – airborne drop, amphibious assault, all sea SR, land SR of an air unit. You can only perform these operations to a destination hex that enemy air cannot reach or where that hex can be reached by at least as many friendly air factors, only.
Updated BRP costs
Declaration of War on Major Power – 15 BRPs (lowered)
Declaration of War on Minor Power – 5 BRPs (lowered)
Offensive Option 1 Front 1 Season – 10 BRPs (lowered)
Attrition Option 1 Front 1 Season – 5 BRPs
Any Strategic Warfare Factor – 3 BRPs each
Naval, Air, or Airborne Factor – 3 BRPs each
Armor or Replacement Factor – 2 BRPs each
Infantry Factor – 1 BRP each
Changes to land combat
An entirely new 2D6 land combat CRT is used instead of the original 1D6 table. Results are given as attacker unit losses, 1 or 2, defender unit losses, 1 or 2, and required retreats by either side, which are always a single hex when required. There are also X1 results that require a single unit elimination from each side. If all defenders are removed from the attacked hex, whether by elimination or retreat, then surviving attacking units may advance into that hex up to the 2 unit stacking limit. Defenders never advance after combat.
If a side is required to retreat and cannot do so, they may lose 1 additional unit to cancel the retreat. Note that this option is only available when retreat is impossible, otherwise the retreat must be made. E.g. a bridgehead containing 4 units suffers a D2R results and has its “backs to the sea”. They lose 3 units and the last remains.
Units are not doubled on defense as in the original game. Instead, the defense strength of the whole hex is raised by 1 in clear weather regions and turns, and by 2 in snow or mud regions and turns. Attacking into a swamp or mountain hex grants the defender a single column shift to the left on the CRT, as does any attack delivered entirely across river hexsides or onto a beach from naval transport (amphibious invasion). Fortified hexes give the usual defense factor add above to the single strongest unit in the hex then double that unit, while all units beyond the first contribute only their ordinary combat factor.
Attackers may use air and naval support factors up to the lower of 2x the final defense strength of the defending hex or 2x the total ground unit attack strength; any contribution from air factors above that amount are ignored. In snow turns, the maximum support factors contribution is 1x final defense strength, instead (still 2x attacking ground strength). In addition, no more than 1 9 factor fleet may provide naval bombardment support for any given attack.
In clear and snow weather and attacking into clear terrain (including across a river or onto a beach), then attackers earn a +1 DRM for armor superiority if they have armor factors in the attack at least equal to the final defense strength AND the defenders have no armor unit. Defenders earn a -1 DRM for armor superiority in the same weather and terrain conditions if they have any armor units and the attackers have none. In all other conditions, neither side has armor superiority and there is no DRM for it.
There is no breakthrough procedure as in the original game, that is fully replaced by the mechanized movement and combat phases when weather allows.
An attrition option costs 5 BRPs, and counts the land combat factors adjacent to enemy units after movement. At least 5 ground combat factors must be in contact or the attrition step itself is skipped. Roll 2D6 and consult the new attrition table for the column containing the number of ground combat factors in contact.
AN results require the removal of that many units from the phasing player. XN results require such removal from both sides, and DN results require removal of that many units from the defending side. 1-3 infantry units count as only 1/2 of a unit for attrition removal purposes, all other units count as 1 each. The side taking the losses decides which units to remove, but they must be units adjacent to his attrition opponent’s ground units.
HN results award the attrition attacker that many hexes along the front line which the enemy must vacate by unit removals or 1 hex retreats. The attacking player chooses these hexes, designating all of them before the defender acts on any. Each chosen hex must be adjacent to an attacking ground unit at that time. Defenders must then withdraw from those hexes, and may also withdraw any units that would be cut of by loss of these hexes. Finally adjacent attrition attackers (only) may advance into those hexes. Fortified hexes, national capitals, and amphibious bridgeheads may not be chosen for attrition hexes won results, but all other hexes adjacent to any attackers are eligible, including VP cities and unfortified ports.
Units removed for attrition on either side may be swapped for replacements on a one for one basis, meaning the “dead” unit moves to the location of the replacement unit while the replacement unit returns to its national force pool. There is however a limit on the number of units that may be replaced this way in a single player turn – 5 for Germany and the US, 4 for the UK, and 3 for Italy or France. If the removed unit cost more than 4 BRPs, then the cost difference (unit cost – 4) must be paid when that unit is “saved” by using a replacement.
New attrition table
For analysis purposes, the table below gives expected unit losses for the attrition defender, attacker, the difference between them, and expected hexes gained for each column on the attrition table. It may be used to help evaluate when an attrition option would be worth its 5 BRP cost and similar.
Def 0.67 1.50 2.75 4.00 5.75 7.16 8.67
Att 0.33 0.75 1.33 1.92 2.75 3.50 4.25
Diff 0.33 0.75 1.42 2.17 3.00 3.67 4.42
Hex 0.08 0.50 1.33 2.00 2.50 3.33 4.00
Air operations, bases, and ranges
Air units need a city or airbase hex to operate from and that hex must be in supply for those units to perform air operations. In the movement phase, air units may “stage” up to 2x their range to a new airbase, conducting all their air operations from their new location after their movement. Air operations are only conducted from one hex, the final one moved to, and all air mission ranges are counted from that “operating” hex. Air units return to their operating hex after their missions; they can only change it in actual movement, before their air operations. Non-phasing air units can react by interception within their range, but cannot move or stage during the opponent’s player turn.
Air units may move their full 2x range distance in their movement phase even if moving from a hex that is out of supply, and even if taking an attrition or pass option in that region. They cannot perform actual air missions from such locations or in such option turns, however. They must end their movement in an in-supply hex; if they cannot then they are eliminated and returned to their force pool. Air units may be moved by SR at the end of the turn, but only to an in supply friendly air base or city hex that a friendly land unit could SR to (including a friendly port in another zone, fleet transport permitting).
Counter air missions
Counter air is an air mission that the phasing player may conduct in offensive option turns and zones, only, in any weather. It requires one or more friendly air units within range of an enemy air unit, including after prior staging in the same movement phase. The counter air units are placed in the target air unit’s hex in the movement phase.
In the air missions phase, one round of air to air combat occurs between the two sides, each firing at the other simultaneously on the air table and applying the results in enemy air factors removed. In addition, as many non-phasing air factors as were sent by the phasing player are neutralized for the remainder of this player turn, meaning they are unable to perform interceptions or any other mission. This neutralization is automatic and does not depend on the result of the air combat – it is just a factor for factor “tying up” of those non-phasing air factors in the air struggle. Invert the non-phasing air units thus neutralized. They are flipped back to their face up, “ready” side at the start of their own player turn.
Phasing air units that survive counter air combat remain in the hex they conducted counter air against, may be intercepted there, and may support ground combat attacks on that hex later in the same player turn. They are returned to their airbase only in the combat phase after any attack vs that hex are conducted.
Note that it is entirely possible for two sides to be out of range of such counter air missions, and thus for some hexes to be interceptable by non-phasing air units and not subject to such phasing player initiated air combat.
Air interception is the use of a non-phasing air unit to interfere with phasing player air and naval operations, only. Any un-neutralized non-phasing air unit may intercept any phasing air unit or fleet in range in the interception phase, which comes after phasing player movement and air missions, but before combat. The non-phasing player places his reacting air units on any phasing player air unit or fleet in range. In the combat phase, every location containing air and naval units from enemy sides will conduct air and naval combat before ground combat. Surviving phasing air units after interception air combat remain in the hex and can support ground combat there afterward.
Air to air combat
If both sides still have air units in the same hex in the combat phase, one round of air to air combat must be resolved between them. Surviving air factors remain present for the naval and ground combat steps. Non-phasing air factors (only) may round combat results of 0.6 and upward up to the next integer, all others round down.
If either side has air units and its opponent has naval units, then a round of air naval combat occurs. Air units fire on the air table with their full factor strength, perhaps reduced by previous air to air combat losses. Fleets fire at air with 1/3rd of their factor strength using the naval combat table, but no more 9 factor fleets may fire in this step than opposing 5-4 air fleets fired upon them. Remove losses from each side. Notice, it is entirely possible for air factors to fire in the previous step and again in this one at the two successive targets; this fire is sequential, not simultaneous.
If both sides still have naval units at this point, each fires at the other in one round of simultaneous combat using the naval table, hitting only enemy naval strength. Notice, it is again entirely possible for naval factors to fire in the previous step (vs air at 1/3rd factor strength) and again in this one (at full remaining factors).
Air and naval support of ground combat
After all of the above, remaining phasing (only) air factors and 1/3rd of naval factors in coastal hexes only can contribute to ground combat attack strength, air only for the hex it is in, naval vs an adjacent coastal hex only. The total supporting factors used this way are capped at the lower of 2x the final defense strength of the defending hex or 2x the total attacking ground combat factors. In addition, only 1 9 factor fleet may provide naval support of any given ground combat. In snow turns, the maximum support strength is lower, 1x the final defense strength. Non-phasing air and naval factors never provide such support – they can only interfere with the phasing player attacker’s support. Neither supporting air nor supporting naval units ever suffer any adverse results from ground combat itself.
Air and naval combat tables
All air and naval combat is resolved by determining firing effectiveness with a 1D10 die roll, and multiplying the result by the number of firing factors. The result with fractions rounded down is the number of target factors that are destroyed. Exception – non phasing air units with fewer than 5 air factors and submarines or bombers firing (with 1/2 factors) in strategic warfare resolution may round fractions of 0.6 or greater up to the next integer. Rolls below 1 are 1 and above 10 are 10, when DRMs apply.
Airborne drops may be conducted during the ordinary movement phase of an offensive option turn in clear weather only. The airborne unit(s) involved must be at any friendly city or airbase hex at the start of that movement phase, and their only movement for the turn will be their air landing. The range for an air landing is 6 hexes. The airborne unit is placed on any land hex (exception – uncontested enemy air zones) within the 6 hex range during this movement phase, even an enemy occupied hex, and cannot move further. Air landings may not be attempted into a hex containing an uncontested enemy air zone. To be clear, this means you must have as many or more air factors in range of the intended landing hex (after staging) than the enemy does.
Air landings are subject to enemy air unit interception, with a round of air combat taking place between any intercepting non-phasing air units in range and any phasing air units sent to the same hex. Any factor hits in excess of such supporting air “hit” the airborne unit itself, up to its factor strength. If it sustains hits this way equal to or greater than its strength it is destroyed and returned to it’s nation’s force pool.
In the combat phase, air units add their attack factor to any supporting air factors and any ground attack directed at the hex they landed on. They may not attack an adjacent hex in the normal combat phase the turn they land, only their own air landing hex, if occupied. Air landing units negate river shift effects and coast / invasion shifts for combat against the hex they land on.
If an air landing unit is alive in the mechanized combat phase the turn it lands, it may then participate in combat as though it were a mechanized unit, that phase. It only has this ability the turn it air-lands, and does not move in the mechanized movement phase. Any turn it does not air land, an airborne unit is a normal infantry unit. They require supply and suffer isolation attrition like any other unit, including the turn they land.
Air landing SRs – airborne units may conduct a special form of SR by air, provided they begin the SR phase in a friendly city or airbase. They may transfer up to 6 hexes to another friendly city or airbase, and then repeat this for another 6 hexes if desired, ending up to 2 “air links” away. No hex passed through may contain an uncontested enemy air zone (meaning, be in range of an enemy air unit while not in range of at least as many factors of friendly air units to contest that air zone), but otherwise all terrain is ignored.
Naval operations are changed considerably from original 3R, with naval interception in particular made deliberately harder.
The phasing player moves all of his fleets before the non-phasing player may attempt interception, and interception always uses the ending location of the phasing player’s fleet. All interception attempts must be declared before any are resolved. All naval fleets attempting an intercept from the same port roll once together and intercept as a body. All interception attempts with the same target as resolved before any combat, with those that succeed present for the battle and those that fail not moved out of their original port. Naval combat takes place in the interception hex between the full phasing player’s force and any fleets that successfully intercept them. Note that there is no way for the phasing player to force naval combat if the non-phasing player chooses to stay in port.
Zone to Zone SR movements by sea may be intercepted at the sea hex of their destination port, or if they traverse multiple zones, at the hex joining two adjacent naval zones. SRs through the Atlantic naval zone may be intercepted at hex M10, 9 hexes west of Brest. The phasing player fleet or fleets enabling SR through the zone are the defending fleet in such cases. One fleet on this mission in the zone is required to conduct SR by naval movement through the zone, but more than be used to make enemy naval interception less effective.
The Murmansk box is an exception to the normal interception rules – interception in the Murmansk box is automatic for all fleets assigned to that mission. Interception is only possible into the same zone as the port of the intercepting fleet. Dual zone ports (e.g. Gibraltar, Kiel) can intercept into either adjacent zone.
The new interception chances by range in hexes are –
1-5 hexes 1-5
6-10 hexes 1-4
10-15 hexes 1-3
16-20 hexes 1-2
20-25 hexes 1
26+ hexes impossible
Note that either side may also send air fleets to the interception hex, and air to air and air vs naval combat will occur before any naval vs naval combat.
Details of possible naval operations and mechanics
Naval units may conduct only one operation type per game turn, and the mechanics for each operation type are given below. Naval units assigned to (possible) interception are left inactive in a friendly port during the phasing player’s turn, and only fleets left unassigned in this fashion are available to intercept enemy naval operations during the enemy’s player turn.
Naval transport operation
The fleet must begin in a friendly port containing the friendly ground unit to be transported by sea. Each fleet may transport ground combat factors equal to 1/2 the fleet’s strength, round fractions downward. The destination must be another friendly controlled port or existing Bridgehead in the same zone. During the movement phase, the fleet and transported ground unit(s) are moved to the destination port. The ground unit may not move by land before or after the naval move, though it could SR later in the same game turn, after the naval transport move. The ground unit may not participate in combat that turn either, as it is “still arriving” in the combat phase and is subject to interception in the combat phase. After the combat phase and resolution of any possible enemy air or naval interception, the transporting fleet may return to any other controlled friendly port (only) in the same zone. It is marked as having conducted operations (e.g. “tapped” aka rotated right 90 degrees). Naval transport operations to a friendly port are allowed into an uncontested enemy air zone, but are subject to possible enemy air unit interception in the destination hex, as well as naval interception.
Note that movement by sea to a different zone is not a naval transport operation but SR by sea, and follows different rules described below.
Naval bombardment operation
The fleet must begin in any friendly port, and then moves to any all sea hex in the same zone that is adjacent to an enemy occupied coastal hex that will be attacked in the combat phase. In the combat phase after resolving any air or sea interceptions and combat, each remaining fleet contributes 1/3rd of its combat factors to one ground combat against an adjacent coastal hex. Total support for such combats by air and sea combined may not exceed 2x the total defense strength of the attacked hex. After the combat phase, the bombarding fleet may return to any controlled friendly port in the same zone. It is marked as having conducted operations by “tapping” (rotate 90 degrees).
Naval escort of SRs by sea
The fleet must begin in any friendly port, and all such conducting SR escort in that zone move to any one all sea hex in the zone to designate they are escorting friendly strategic redeployments by sea through that zone. They remain there until the start of the next friendly player turn, when they are returned to any friendly port or ports in the zone ready to operate again in that new player turn.
While in the sea zone, any fleet enables any number of SRs by sea within or through that zone. Such SRs may be intercepted by enemy naval and air units as they occur, and if they are intercepted, the SR Escort fleets conduct one round of combat (which may include air naval and naval naval steps) against any intercepting enemy forces. If after such combat, at least 9 naval factors remain on escort, the sea SRs are conducted normally. If fewer than 9 naval factors remain on escort, the SRs are blocked and returned to their starting location.
The location used to determine interceptions of SRs by sea are chosen by the intercepting player, with his choices the destination port (only choice for sea SRs within the same zone) or the first hex into any new zone for SRs that cross multiple sea zones. For the Atlantic, hex M10 (9 hexes west of Brest) is considered the transition hex for SRs to or from the US, or through the Atlantic zone to the middle east around Africa (UK and USA only).
Sea SRs may not be conduct from or to any port in an uncontested enemy air zone, regardless of naval escorts available.
Naval units that wish to conduct naval interceptions during the enemy player turn must be left in port “inactive” during the preceding friendly player turn. All fleets from the same port intercept as a body with one interception roll, with their interception chance dependent on the range in hexes to the enemy naval unit’s mission hex. All interceptions in the combat phase must be designated before any are resolved. Similarly, all interceptions of enemy sea SRs during the enemy SR phase must be designated before any are resolved. Each originating port rolls for its interception attempt separately, but combat is only conducted after all fleets have rolled, between the combined intercepting fleets and the phasing players active fleet at the interception location.
Note that interception only occurs during the enemy player turn; there is no way to “intercept an interception”. If you want a larger force at a particular mission location you must send it in your movement phase before the enemy declares his interception choices and attempts.
After conducting an interception, surviving intercepting fleets must return to the same port they started from. They are not “tapped” and may perform missions again normally in their owner’s next player turn.
Murmansk convoy escort and interception
In the spring turn of each year after the USSR is at war with Germany, the UK or USA may send lend lease BRPs to the USSR. They place a counter in the Murmansk box for each 20 BRPs sent this way (the maximum is 20 each from the UK and the USA; for each western power it is 20 or nothing). They may send any number of fleets or ASW strategic warfare assets to the Murmansk convoy box at the same time. These are placed face down in the Murmansk convoy box during the western Allies movement phase. The western Allies player must declare whether BRPs are being sent, and the box is not used at all if none are sent, but otherwise all his counters placed in the box are hidden.
Before the combat phase of the western Allied spring player turn, the German player (only) may send to the Murmansk box any air fleets stationed in any airbase in Norway, any naval fleets stationed in Bergen (the only Norway port), and any portion he desires of his u-boat strategy warfare assets that did not already conduct strategic warfare in the preceding German player turn. Since the Allied forces will already be there, he may do this face up, after which all the Allied units in the Murmansk box are revealed.
One full round of combat (air to naval, naval to naval, ASW vs subs, and subs vs BRPs in that order) is then conducted in the Murmansk box. BRPs that survive are received by the USSR at the start of their Summer I turn. Surviving German units in the box are returned to Norway and the German strategic warfare assets box and may operate normally in the coming summer I turn. Surviving Allied naval fleets are returned to any friendly port adjacent to the north Atlantic, tapped. Surviving Allied ASW assets remain in the Murmansk box until the start of the Allied summer I turn, when they are returned to the Allied strategic assets box. Note that this means they will “miss” the German strategic warfare step of the summer I turn – they got their “shot” at German subs in the Murmansk box in the spring step, instead.
Surface fleets may carry factors for invasions up to 1/3rd their combat strength in the same way to land them on any beach hex, in the movement phase only, and in the same zone only. The fleet and ground units are placed “offshore” in any adjacent sea hex, not on the land (beach) hex. They are subject to interception there by non-phasing naval units in the zone and non-phasing air units within range. Phasing air units may “escort” the fleet or run “counter air” missions to prevent such interception, using the ordinary rules for air operations and air and naval combat.
In addition, amphibious landing may not be attempted from a hex or into a hex in an uncontested enemy air zone. To be clear about it, you must have as many or more air factors as the enemy in range (after staging) of both the offshore sea hex the invasion is launched from and the beach hex targeted by the invasion.
If a fleet carrying units sustained hits that reduce its carrying ability below the number of factors it is transporting, then that portion of the fleet and units must return to any friendly port in the zone, and they do not carry out the invasion.
In the combat phase, the remaining offshore ground units attack any adjacent beach hex with support from any fleet present – including the transporting fleets – at 1/3rd of those fleet’s printed combat strength – and any phasing air units assigned to either the offshore invasion hex or the target hex. Support factors from fleets and air are added together and are subject to the same overall limit of 2x the defensive factors of the defending hex. If the defending hex is unoccupied, then the invasion automatically succeeds and the invading units must advance into the hex. Note this is the only time a combat phase attack may be conducted against an unoccupied hex.
The invading force may then place a beachhead marker, which allows stacking up to 4 units and acts as a port as long as it is in play. Beachhead markers are removed at the end of any subsequent friendly turn if there are no enemy units adjacent to the beachhead hex. (Play note – so you want a port at the farthest adjacent to your invasion target if you intend to supply the invasion force by sea indefinitely).
Note that fleets transporting forces for invasions get to fire a bombardment mission in support of the invasion in addition, “for free”. Fleets in excess of those carrying ground units for the invasion may also support by bombardment.
Only 2 ground units may attack from the same sea hex, but invasion fleets could cooperate from multiple hexes to attack the same beach hex adjacent to each. Advance after combat allows units up to the stacking limit to advance, so if a bridgehead marker is placed up to 4 units could advance into that hex. All of the limitations on uncontested enemy air zones and use of air units assigned to an offshore invasion sea hex apply to each offshore invasion hex in this case.
Mechanized units that successfully invade may not move in the mechanized movement phase on the same turn they invaded, but they may attack in the mechanized combat phase, and may advance after combat is such attacks clear an enemy hex of all units. They cannot attack adjacent empty hexes.
If a port is captured in this way, then phasing player units may SR into that port in the immediately following SR phase, but only if they would not be subject to any enemy interception – by naval or air units – making that move. If they could be intercepted, such an SR move is not allowed into any port taken during that turn. This is a deliberate reduction in ability to SR on an invasion turn. SR by sea can only be done to ports or bridgehead markers, not to beach hexes without either. The restrictions of no SR into an enemy ZOC without a friendly unit present nor into an uncontested enemy air zone still apply – see the SR rules below.
Bridgehead hexes are created when an amphibious invasion is successful and attacking units advance after combat or opposed onto a beach hex from the sea. The owning side places a bridgehead marker, and may now stack up to 4 units in that hex instead of 2 units. All 4 units may attack out of a bridgehead hex in the same combat phase, but only 2 may attack across any one hexside in one phase. When attacked, the bridgehead defends with the strength of all 4 of its units and any applicable weather and terrain bonuses.
Bridgeheads act like a friendly controlled port in all respects for as long as they exist, including allowing supply and SR as long as there is a friendly fleet in the zone as SR escort. Each power may have up to 3 bridgeheads at any one time. If they could place another but are at their limit, they may remove any existing bridgehead marker of their choice to place the new one.
If at the start of a friendly turn, there are no enemy units adjacent to a bridgehead hex, the bridgehead marker is removed and the stacking limit falls back to the normal 2 per hex, and the port capabilities disappear. Any overstacking must be corrected by the end of the immediately following normal movement phase, and the units ashore will need an ordinary port to remain in supply.
Note that bridgehead markers are only placed on successful amphibious invasions – ignore any clauses in the original rules referring to bridgeheads across rivers.
Naval interception and enemy air zones
Normally, any non-phasing fleet at sea in a zone or in a port adjacent to that zone may intercept any enemy fleet movement or naval SR attempt in that zone. However, hexes within range of phasing player air units and not in range of non-phasing player air units (uncontested air zones for the phasing player) are not subject to naval interception. Effectively, phasing air fleets “exclude” enemy fleets from interception attempts within their 4 hex range (including after “staging” in the same movement phase), unless a non-phasing un-neutralized air unit “contests” that exclusion. The phasing player may conduct counter air missions to neutralize non-phasing air units, and any that are neutralized cannot enable naval interception in the same turn.
Example 1 – Italy has 5-4 air fleet in Rome, and the nearest UK air unit is a 5-4 air fleet on Malta. The UK could not attempt an amphibious invasion at Taranto, in the beach on the east coast of Italy in the Adriatic, southern Sardinia, or Corsica. They could invade at Syracuse on Sicily, even if the Italian 5-4 was at Taranto, as their 5-4 on Malta would contest the air zone.
Example 2 – Germany has a 5-4 air fleet in Paris and a second in Vichy. The UK has a 5-4 air fleet in London and the US has another at Portsmouth. The Allies could invade anywhere on the northern coast of France but not west of Bordeaux. If either Allied air fleet counter-airs the German air fleet in Paris and neutralizes it for the turn, then Allied invasions at Lorient, Dieppe, or Calais would also not be subject to any air interception, being out of range of the Vichy air unit.
If the UK fleet were in Harwich east of London and the German Vichy air unit were instead at La Rochelle, then Lorient in Brittany would not be a possible invasion location, as the Germans would have 10 factors in range to only 5 US, not enough to contest the German air zone. In this case, however, the UK Harwich 5-4 might Counter-Air the German 5-4 at Paris, and doing so would enable at invasion at Lorient, as the remaining non-neutralized air strength in range would become 5 to 5.
Naval units may only be built in a controlled friendly port in the home country of the building power. In addition, the build port may not be in an uncontested enemy air zone.
Air units may only be built in a city in the home country of the building power. While marker air bases can be used to conduct air missions from, they cannot be used as build location for air units. The build city may be in an enemy zone of control only if occupied by a friendly ground unit before the build phase.
Ground units may be built in any hex in their home country that is friendly controlled, is not adjacent to enemy ground units unless it is a home country friendly city occupied by another friendly unit, and is not in an uncontested enemy air zone unless it is a home country friendly city.
To be clear, a friendly home country city with a friendly ground unit in it could always build a new ground or air unit, even adjacent to an enemy unit and under an uncontested enemy air zone.
In the build phase, any power may build an airbase in any in supply non-city hex containing a friendly ground unit. Airbases cost 2 BRPs. They remain in existence until the hex is entered by an enemy ground unit or their owner voluntarily removes it. An airbase lets up to 5 air factors to operate from the hex just like a city, and allows airborne operations from it the same way. Airbases can never be built in a city hex. Each power has a maximum of 3 airbases in existence at any time, and may remove existing ones to create new ones in their build phase. Airbases never actually move; new ones must be built the same way for the same cost. An airbase is available for use immediately so e.g. air units could SR to it in the immediately following SR phase, other SR restrictions permitting.
SR and SR limits
At the end of each player’s turn, they may move a number of units by Strategic Redeployment or SR, reflecting use of rail transport and slower ocean freight transport capacity. The maximum number of SR actions per power are 10 for the US, 9 for Germany, 6 for the USSR and UK, and 5 for Italy and France. BRP transfers by Lend Lease count as such SRs, as do initial deployments from the US to Europe. The US is in addition limited to 6 initial SR unit moves from the US to Europe per turn. Units may SR in the same turn they are built – this is the normal way to “administratively” move new units to “the front”.
SR ending locations
SRs of land units may end in an enemy ZOC only if the ending hex is already occupied by a friendly land unit, and is moreover the first hex in the SR path that is in an enemy ZOC. So you can SR new units “to the front” but not into narrow “salients” or past enemy front line positions. SRs of air units may likewise end adjacent to enemy units only if the ending city or airbase hex is friendly occupied, is the first enemy ZOC along the path, and moreover the ending location is not in an uncontested enemy air zone. SRs of naval units must end in a port with the same adjacent requirements and the same uncontested enemy air zone requirements as air units. Note that these conditionally allowed SRs adjacent to enemy units is a deliberate change from original 3R4 rules.
SRs by land
SRs by land must be able to trace a land supply line from the original unit location to the destination free of enemy units and zones of control, never crossing neutral countries or uncontrolled enemy home territory. Both ground combat units and air units may SR by land an unlimited distance within these limits; air units must end such a move at a valid controlled city or airbase. Land and Sea SRs cannot be mixed for the same unit in the same turn. Naval units may never SR by land. In addition, a unit may SR into a hex in range of enemy air units only if every hex it traverses including its destination hex is within range of equal friendly air factors as well, to contest the enemy air zone. This includes SR-ing air units, who do not contest enemy air zones “yet” themselves (they haven’t yet “arrived”).
SRs by sea and sea interception
SRs of land or air units by sea require one fleet in each zone traversed by that SR operation, which must be actually “at sea” in that zone. There is no limit to the number of units that may be SRed by sea as long as each zone touched has one friendly fleet at sea in that zone. SRs by sea are subject to naval interception by non-phasing fleets in ports adjacent to any of the zones they touch, or by any enemy fleets at sea in zones they touch. The interception location is either the destination port hex or any hex entering a new sea zone for multiple zone transfers. Transfers through the Atlantic treat the hex M10, 9 hexes west of Brest, as the location where they entered or left that zone (e.g. from the US or around the Cape to Suez by the African route).
Roll for such interception normally and conduct 1 round of naval combat between any such intercepting fleets and the at-sea phasing fleets in the zone, only. If after the combat, the phasing player does not have at least 1 strength 9 fleet in the zone, he may not SR through it and the SRing unit is returned to its starting location.
Sea SR of a naval unit itself must start from a friendly controlled port and end in a friendly controlled port. Both ports may not be in an uncontested enemy air zone or the SR movement is blocked. Contested enemy air zones are OK. Sea SR of a fleet itself is not subject to enemy naval interception; only SR of land or air units by sea may be intercepted by enemy naval units.
Changes to replacements
Replacement units cost 2 BRPs instead of 1, still getting only 1 defense strength and no movement except by SR. They are not removed in enemy Attrition steps, but instead may be used up to a power limit each player turn to “recover” units lost to both enemy attrition results and attacker loss results on the CRT. Defender CRT losses in enemy offensives are never recovered by replacements, nor units eliminated by isolation attrition.
Each replacement can be swapped for a just-eliminated friendly unit which is placed where the replacement was located. All ordinary infantry and 2-5 armor units may be recovered this way without cost. Armor units of 3-5 strength must pay the difference between their full build cost and 4 BRPs when recovered by spending a replacement, thus 2, 4, and 6 BRP cost to recover strength 3, 4 and 5 armor units respectively. If the cost is not paid immediately the recovery may not be made, and the eliminated unit goes to the force pool instead. Airborne units may not be recovered by spending replacements.
The maximum number of replaced units in a single player turn are 5 for US and Germany, 4 for the UK, and 3 for France and Italy. That number may be used on your own turn and again on an enemy’s turn in the same season. Using a replacement to recover an eliminated unit is always voluntary. Note that replacements when first built will always be in their home country and only move elsewhere by SR. The USSR does not have replacements.
Supply and isolation attrition
Units out of supply (traced as in the original but also blocked by new zones of control) at the end of their own final combat phase (mech weather permitting, else normal combat) or after attrition resolution may choose to be eliminated (this is called “breakout”), and if so are immediately returned to their force pool.
Otherwise each out of supply hex is subject to Isolation Attrition as a 2D6 roll. If the modified Isolation Attrition roll is 8 or higher, there are no attrition losses to that hex to this game turn. If the modified Isolation Attrition roll is 7 or lower, all units in that hex are eliminated and returned to their national force pool. They may be rebuilt this game turn, and the new units may be SRed after builds. Roll for each hex and apply the results as soon as rolled.
isolation attrition DRMs, all are cumulative –
snow weather condition, -2
mud weather condition (spring in East only), -1
summer I or summer II turn +1
any hex in Eastern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, North Africa, or the Middle East, -1
adjacent to any enemy combat units, -1
within the unit’s home country, +1
can trace a path to a friendly city hex, +1
USSR supply sources
Moscow is the USSR capital and ordinary supply source. The USSR does not surrender if Moscow is captured, unlike other powers. Instead, on any turn in which Moscow is not USSR controlled, Russian units may trace supply to any red victory city in the pre war Soviet Union. If all red victory cities in the pre war Soviet Union are Axis controlled, then Russian units may trace supply to any port or city (black circle or black dot) in the pre war Soviet Union. Loss of cities reduces the USSR economic base – see the strategic warfare and the USSR section.
Any power can only spend 1/2 of its BRP total in a single game turn. In addition, no power may buy more than one 9 factor naval fleet per game turn. Germany, the UK, the USSR in all years, and the USA in 1942 and 1943 cannot buy more than one 5-4 air fleet per game turn, and France and Italy cannot buy more than 2 air factors per game turn. In 1944 and 1945 the USA may buy up to 10 air factors or 2 5-4 air fleets per game turn. These limits include spending to replace losses; air and naval losses can only be gradually replaced if they are lost at a high enough rate.
Naval units that have taken factor losses below their initial 9 factor strength may be repaired to full 9 factor strength for a cost of 3 BRPs per factor, but fleet repairs take time. The fleet to be repaired must be placed in a friendly home port and inverted in the production phase in which the BRP cost is paid. Repairs of 1-2 factors take 2 game turns; repairs of 3-4 factors take 3 game turns, 5-6 factors take 4 game turns, and repairs of 7 or more factors take 1 year, including a complete 9 factor rebuild of a fully destroyed fleet. If two or more damaged fleets are in the same port, their factors may be consolidated normally before repairs, but inverted, under repair fleets may never be consolidated. Repair must always pay the full cost to return the fleet to full 9 factor strength; “partial” repairs are not allowed.
No power may initiate repair of more than one fleet per game turn, nor may it start repair of a fleet in the same turn it purchases a new one from its force pool. Within those limit any power may have any number of fleets rebuilding at one time. If the port where repairs are being conducted in captured by the enemy, the inverted fleet counter may be moved to any other friendly controlled port in the same zone. If none is available then the under-repair fleet is lost and returned to the force pool.
Economic loss from conquest and air attack
When territory of a great power is lost, it suffers from economic damage. In the case of the USSR, this affects its economic base for every year, while other powers just lose one time BRPs equal to the economic value of cities taken by enemy ground forces. Tactical air may also attack cities and inflict such damage. The BRP value of each city type is –
capital – 10
red port – 6
red victory city – 5
black port – 3
black city – 2
The loss is incurred when the city falls, even if it is later recaptured, but as a one time event.
Air attack may target cities instead of supporting ground forces, with each hit scored inflicting 1 BRP of damage against the above totals. Hexes with more than one city icon in them add them to arrive at the total available capturing or bombing that hex.
Air attack may inflict this damage against such targets once per calendar year, with “air hits” cleared in each spring interphase, while occupation only inflicts it on capture.
E.g. the Southhampton & Portsmouth hex is worth 6 BRPs, Manchester & Sheffield is worth 7 BRPs.
E.g. Germany attacks London with 3 5-4 air fleets from northern France. If the British air force does not rise to fight them, they would roll 1D10 and inflict 0, 0, 3, 3, 3, 6, 6, 6, 9, 9 BRPs as a one time cost to the UK pool, with that number of hits marked against London. An unopposed German air campaign could inflict 41 BRPs of loss on southern England each year (10 London, 10 for 2 red cities, 15 for 5 ports, 6 for 3 black cities).
E.g. Germany occupies Sedan, Calais and Dieppe inflicting 7 BRP losses on France, one off. Italy takes Marseilles and inflicts 6 BRP additional. Next the German air force bombs Paris getting 6 hits, and the Italian air force gets 4 hits on Lyon. France’s BRPs would be reduced by 23 by these events.
Strategic warfare now happens every game turn instead of only once per year. Each player conducts their offensive strategic warfare after new builds and before the end of their player turn. Note that this means the German player gets to attack with newly built u-boat factors before the western Allies will have had a chance to augment their ASW factors – this is deliberate, and reflects the historically accurate uptick in sinkings as the weather cleared each spring, and the reactive nature of allied ASW commitments.
Strategic warfare between u-boats and ASW is conducted at the end of the German player turn by the German player for Submarine warfare (including ASW firing at German subs), and at the end of the Western Allies turn for Bombing (including Interceptors firing at Allied bombers).
Each such fight is conducted using the normal naval or air combat procedures above, with the offensive weapon firing at 1/2 factors (round upward) vs its defensive opponents, while those fire at full factors against subs and bombers respectively. Hits obtained are rounded down, except that subs and bombers firing with 1/2 factors may round any fraction 0.6 or higher up to the next integer.
After that round of combat, surviving offensive weapons fire at the enemy’s economic base, with 2x factors for subs, 1x factors for bombers. Fractions always round down in this case. Once the US is a belligerent, the Germans may choose each turn whether to target the UK or the US economic base in that turn’s strategic submarine warfare step. Keep track of all “hits” scored on each nation’s economic base throughout the year, and apply them in the year start phase the next Spring turn to reduce that nation’s economic base.
Record strategic warfare hits on the BRP track of the targeted power using markers of the opponent’s offensive strategic warfare type. E.g. U-Boat hits vs the UK economy are recorded on the UK BRP tracks using German sub-1 and sub-10 counters, incremented each time new hits are scored. In the spring year start phase of the following year, reducing the target country’s BRP economy by the full amount of all hits incurred over the previous year. Then zero out the hits recorded for the new year, and repeat the process over the next calendar year.
Strategic warfare spending limits and forced unit conversions
Germany can spend up to 10% of its BRP base each year on each of submarines and interceptors. The UK and once a belligerent, the USA can spend 10% of their BRP base each year on ASW and up to 15% of their BRP base each year on bombers. Exception – in 1942 the US can spend only 5% of its economy on each of the two types and in 1943 no more than 10% on each type.
If the British or US lose 25 BRPs or more to German subs in any one year’s strategic warfare (all 5 turns combined), then in the Spring Yearly Start Phase, remove one 9 factor British (or US after entry) fleet from the map and their force pool, and place 9 new ASW factors in their strategic warfare box instead. The allies are never forced to remove more than 1 surface fleet in this manner in a given year, and the fleet removed must be from the economy actually hit by the u-boats that year. These ASW conversions count against the ASW build limits of that power for that year. Place the fleet in the strategic asset box to reflect its permanent removal from that power’s force pool
Germans must divert 5-4 air fleets to air defense every time bomber hits to the German economy reaches any increment of 15 BRPs. Remove 1 5-4 from the map and place 5 new Interceptor factors in their strategic warfare box instead. This can happen throughout the year. So e.g. of the US-UK bomber offensive in Spring 1944 inflicted that many BRP hits, such an air unit conversion would be forced immediately, without waiting for 1945. Conversions in the previous year do count against German interceptor spending limits in the following spring year start phase. The German build pool for 5-4 air fleets is permanently smaller after each such forced conversion. Place the converted 5-4s in the strategic asset box to reflect this.
Strategic warfare in 1945
All economic warfare hits score in 1945 (or later if a longer game is allowed) are immediately deducted from the target power’s BRP pool instead of from later income.
The “Happy Times”
The Germans start the game with 3 u-boat factors, and the UK starts with no ASW factors. No additions may be made to either until the spring 1940 start phase. The period through Spring 1940 will thus feature u-boats attacking the UK economic with no ASW opposing them; this is the first “happy time” (to the U-boat captains, that is) and reflects the period in which the UK was still organizing convoys, dealing with magnetic mines, and similar issues.
The second “happy time” occurs in the Spring 1942 turn immediately after US entry. All u-boat attacks against the US economy in this turn receive +1 DRM and UK ASW may not operate against them; US ASW won’t yet exist. This reflects ships in the Americas not yet sailing in convoys. Beginning with the summer 1942 turn, new US and UK ASW built in 1942 will be available and this special case is lifted, and submarine strategic warfare is conducted normally.
Strategic Warfare and the USSR
The USSR is not subject to ordinary strategic warfare, although Murmansk route lend lease can be interfered with as described above. But it addition, the USSR is vulnerable to economic losses from conquest of its territory, as follows.
In each Spring Year Start Phase, the Russian economic base can be reduced for currently Axis controlled cities within the boundaries of the pre-war USSR. Moscow is worth 10 BRPs, Leningrad 6 BRPs (5 as a red victory city +1 for being a port), all other red victory cities 5 BRPs, all other ports 3 BRPs, and all other cities (the small black dots) 2 BRPs. Keep the total as the following year the USSR only suffers for any change in Axis control that year. Do not count the red victory cities and black dot cities of eastern Poland, the Baltic States, or Bessarabia in these totals – they are taken care of by the 25 BRPs for control of all Ribbentrop Molotov Pact cities.
This completely replaces the original rule’s clauses about 15 BRP costs for losing Moscow and Leningrad. It also replaces the rule about the USSR being knocked out of the war if reduced to fewer than 75 factors. The USSR continues the war with whatever BRPs are left in all circumstances. Capture of most of its cities will remove essentially all of it pre war economic base, but anything created by economic growth or received in lend lease will remain to fund its war effort indefinitely.
When the BRP value of Axis controlled cities falls from its value in the previous year’s Year Start Phase, the USSR receives back only 1/2 of that value of territory regained. The rest of the previously lost economic base is cannot be recovered; it is permanently lost.
USSR and “Siberian Transfers”
Original 3R4 perpetuated a German origin myth about the source of Soviet reserves that intervened in the battle of Moscow, ascribing them to “Siberian” forces transferred from the Soviet far east, pre war regular forces facing Japan. The Germans did not understand where the Soviet reserves encountered during the battle of Moscow actually originated, and a few formations raised in the Urals and better equipped for the harsh Russian winter convinced them of this explanation, which dovetailed with German efforts to secure Japanese entry to the war against the USSR following Pearl Harbor and Germany’s declaration of war against the USA.
The reality is very few of the Soviet reserves that turned in the tide at year end 1941 came from the pre war far east, and those few formations that did come from that pool arrived by October 1941, with little impact on the war. The game’s tying arrival of these reserves to imaginary greater vulnerability in the far east is thus fanciful. Also, the timing of the USSR mobilization wave is incorrect when the rule is used as written. The reality is the forces intervening in the battle of Moscow had been in unit training from as long ago as the summer, while others were raised at late as October but released from Stavka reserves only at the beginning of December.
The actual source of the mobilization wave was primarily pre war reservists with some prior military training, called up in July 1941 on the outbreak of the war, and then a wave of conscripts raised in all areas of the western Soviet Union, with only minor contributions from the Urals, Central Asia, and the Soviet Far East.
The USSR’s staying power in 1941 is simply buying destroyed infantry units each turn out of its available BRPs, and in my playtesting they don’t need any additional benefits. The USSR force pool then increases in 1942, so much so that they probably won’t be able to buy their entire force that year and will gradually build their force above losses through 1942 and 1943.
The Russian force pool becomes large at the beginning of 1942, but they tend to be facing the bulk of the German army of up to 100 factors at that point, and 3 turns of clear weather 1942 can be very hard on the Russians facing all that. It is vital that the western allies get lend lease resources to Russian in 1942 and 1943 if they are to weather that storm and continue rebuilding their losses every turn.
The first winter turn after Germany and the USSR are at war, non-Finnish Axis units inside the territory of the Soviet Union, the Baltic States, and eastern Poland (only) do not receive any defense factor adds on defense. Even the normal weather +1 is voided; they defend only with their printed defense strength. Finnish units are unaffected, and the USSR player may not defer this effect. Axis units outside the names areas defend normally with the full +2 defense factor for Snow season, even if attacked by the USSR.
Playtesting the system
There are a few quirks I’ve noticed playing this system for the early war period. It is not feasible to conduct an historical invasion of Norway in the same spring turn as the conquest of Denmark; it normally needs to be prepared by a winter 1939 attack on the latter, to set up air bases for an attack on Norway in the Spring 1940 turn. Of course that sequence could be postponed a turn if desired, the point is that both cannot be conducted in the same game turn, as actually happened historically.
In addition, I find that it is hard to conquer France on the historical timetable without adjusting the size of the French BRP pool. It is easy to conquer the low countries on the first turn of a western offensive and to make some progress vs the French, but the latter can readily have their entire force mix on the map with plenty of BRPs to spare, can hold the entire front line with 2 units stacks including armor everywhere northwest of the Maginot line, tying in with a stronger than historical BEF at the channel behind the Belgians. The French BRP total just seems too high, and their replacement of losses too “instant” in the season long turns.
My balance solution is to adjust the French starting BRP base to just 60 BRPs. They will thus receive +24 BRPs at the spring 1940 special year start sequence, and have those 84 BRPs only to last them until the end of 1940. This now also has to absorb BRP losses from occupied French territory and “tactical” bombing. I have found with this change the staying power of the French army is in line with historical events, and the Axis should be able to defeat France by the end of 1940 with proper play.
The UK doesn’t deserve 4-5 tank corps in its force pool until 1941. The reality is the country had very few medium tanks before then, pretty much confined to the western desert force adequately represented by the single 2-5 armor unit in Egypt. The BEF had no effective armor contingent – a single brigade of mostly MG armed light tanks don’t merit treatment as a 4-5 armor corps. So the solution here is that all the 4-5 tank corps in the UK force pool at 1941 additions to that pool, not available at the start.
Post playtest refinements
Other recent refinements are to the starting BRP values for the campaign game and the BRP value of some territories.
France starts with 60 BRPs.
Italy starts with just 50 BRPs.
USA enters in 1942 with 250 BRPs (rather than 270).
Germany starts with 150 BRPs as in the original. They will hit 170 by taking Poland.
UK starts with 125 BRPs as in the original.
USSR starts with 90 BRPs as they do in the original; they will get to 110 BRPs collecting their Ribbentrop-Molotov annexations.
France also starts with only 1 5-4 air fleet in its starting force, with the other immediately build-able, but not yet paid for.
Note that Germany can expect economic parity vs the western Allies even before Italy’s intervention.
Eastern Poland is worth only 5 BRPs, Bessarabia 5 BRPs, the Baltics 10 BRPs.
Denmark and Norway are each worth only 5 BRPs.
Luxembourg has no BRP value (0).
Yugoslavia is worth only 15 BRPs. Greece remains worth 10.
Bulgaria is worth only 5 BRPs, and the same is true of Finland.
Romania is still worth 15 BRPs ex Bessarabia. Hungary remains worth 10.
Sweden is worth only 15 BRPs.
Spain and Turkey are each worth 20 BRPs.
France is worth 25 BRPs for the German portion when Vichy is formed.
Vichy without France is worth 15 BRPs, the colonies 5 BRPs each for a total of 20 BRPs.
Syria and all of French North Africa roll for alignment Vichy or Free French when Vichy forms, 50-50 each way.
UK earns BRPs from any colonies that go Free French at that time.
Conquered or liberated Vichy or mainland France are not worth anything, they only deprive the other guy of those BRPs as with “second conquests”.
Note that with these revisions, the full historical conquest of the west (including western Scandinavia) is worth 60 BRPs to Germany as historically taken, and all the Axis minors plus eastern Europe are likewise worth 60 BRPs (35 Axis Minors, 25 for Yugoslavia and Greece). Yes that likely overrates eastern Europe, but on the other hand the Axis minors are fully cooperating and Romanian oil was critical to Germany historically. And in game terms it works.
Also keep in mind that the revised growth procedures are critical in the new system. Growth zeros out the BRPs saved to year end in return for the increment to economic base those provide, at 50% for France and Italy, 60% for all other powers. Note this means it takes a 2nd year of income to pull ahead vs spending up front, and that France and Italy would only pull ahead in year 3, which they frequently don’t live to see.