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During World War II, the Soviet Union and Japan had a five year mutual non-aggression pact that was kept until the very end. Could a similar thing happen in Allies and Axis?

In some versions of the game, this policy is "enforced" by the fact that it costs 5 or even 10 IPCs for one side to attack the other's territories. Would you play such a game variation?

In other games, there are understandings between the two countries, derived during table talk. This may include not reinforcing territories that the other is likely to attack. For instance, Russia can reinforce British forces that have captured Norway, but not British forces in India.

Would you try to conclude such an agreement with the other party if you were playing Japan? Russia?

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That treaty was kept more by Apathy than by act of will... Russia really didn't have much force in the east. A&A is mildly ahistoric, as well. –  aramis Jun 2 '11 at 6:15
    
@aramis: Fair enough. But it laid the groundwork for possible game play. –  Tom Au Jun 2 '11 at 12:31

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Would you try to conclude such an agreement with the other party if you were playing Japan? Russia?

If I was playing Japan, no, I'd not want such an agreement. If I was Russia, then yes.

Russia's sole aim in the early game is to build up a wall of infantry in Karelia to stop Germany from expanding her borders and to buy time until her allies can start sending in wave after wave of troops support. (By the midgame the US should be depositing 10-12 infantry into Finland each and every turn.)

Having a "hands off" policy with Japan allows Russia two distinct advantages:

  1. It inflates their economic base. The Soviet Far East and Yakut are two territories that usually fall under Japanese control relatively early in the game. That's 4 IPC per turn Russia gets to keep until later with this agreement.
  2. It let's them focus on reinforcing Karelia without having to worry about staffing troops in Russia.

I can see how such a deal might sound ideal to Japan at first blush - namely, Japan gets to focus 100% on China, Sinkiang, and India, but I don't think it's worth it in the long run.

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I quite agree with your answer. You nailed it. For the other part of the question, would you be willing to play Japan in a game variation where you'd have to pay 5-10 IPCs for the privilege of attacking Russia (breaking the historical treaty)? –  Tom Au Jun 1 '11 at 22:57
    
@Tom: I don't know how to ask this any other way, but would you be interested in playing A&A online sometime over at GamesByEmail.com? If so, drop me a line, you can find my email address in my profile - boardgames.stackexchange.com/users/44/scott-mitchell –  Scott Mitchell Jun 1 '11 at 22:58
    
"I would if I could," but I'm about to start a new job. The reason I'm on the site at all is because of the few days I have to transition. Also, I forget to "@scott:" in my comment above. –  Tom Au Jun 1 '11 at 23:01
    
@Tom: If you comment on someone's answer they get a notification in their inbox even if you don't include the "@". Also, you should be able to edit your comments--just mentioning it in case you forget something at some point in the future. –  Adam Wuerl Jun 2 '11 at 2:00
    
@Tom: Re: playing Axis & Allies at GamesByEmail.com... I just wanted to let you know that it's not continuous, online play, but rather play via one move at a time, at your leisure. So you can make your move in the morning before work each day, or at night before you go to bed. If you're still not interested, no worries, but I wanted to make sure you realized that you could play on that website without having to set aside several hours of time. –  Scott Mitchell Jun 2 '11 at 17:45

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