Axis & Allies Pacific 1940 (AAP40 ) was released on December 15, 2009. It covers the Pacific theater in more detail than AAP. The rules are similar to AA50 and AA42 but some changes have been made. There are 5 powers (4 meant to be played independently) in AAP40, those being Japan, America, United Kingdom, ANZAC and China.
Japan is the sole Axis player in AAP40, but it can hold its own, and do it well too. Due to the game being extremely unbalanced in the favor of Japan, the Rising Sun can take out the UK by J3, and take out China by J4 or J5. Because of this, Japan can win even with terrible luck, and win with ease. There are, however, changes endorsed by Larry Harris to balance the game again.
The most powerful of the Allies, the US is really the only hope for the Allies. They start the game as a neutral country, and cannot declare war until the end of US3. However, Japan can declare war on them. Their income is decent before being at war (17 IPCs) but after war has been declared their income goes up by 40 IPCs! This allows for huge amounts of ships to be churned out, and for the powerhouse that is Japan to be challenged.
The UK makes the second most of the Allies at the beginning (16 IPCs), but this number will fall rapidly as soon as war is declared. They are almost always the number one target of Japan, as they have the potential to become quite powerful if not crushed quickly, and they're easy to crush quickly. They start the game as a neutral country, but can declare war on Japan anytime. If Japan declares war on them, the US enters the war too.
The ANZAC make the least initially (10 IPCs), but often end up making more than either UK or China, and sometimes more than both combined. This is almost entirely due to the fact that they aren't under attack initially. Their survival allows them to build up a navy that can take money from convoys and contest the Dutch East Indies. Politically, they act like the same nation as the UK.
China starts at war with Japan, and do not have a capital or any Industrial Complexes. Rather, they can build units anywhere they want to, and survive until all of their territories are taken. However, they can only build infantry (and artillery, given that the Allies control the Burma Road).
- Sea bases add 1 to sea movement
- Air bases add 1 to air movement
- Industrial Complexes come in 2 types, Major which can produce 10 units and Minor which produce 3 units. Placement of complexes is limited; no ICs can be build in islands and Major ICs can only be built in territories that you controlled at the start of the game. Industrial complexes have inherent AA defense against strategic bombing.
- Air units on islands with an airbase can scramble to defend adjacent naval units
- Tactical bombers and Mechanized infantry have been added to the game
- National objectives are used
- China can build without complexes or a capital, but is limited to infantry & artillery (if it controls the Burma Road)
- Complex political rules handle the entry of US and the Commonwealth into the war
There has been considerable controversy over the game's balance. The Japanese start with superior forces, the central position and the ability to launch a surprise attack. The Allies are vulnerable to defeat in detail. Larry Harris has proposed the following changes AAP40-Larry Harris Variant.