This set of rules for combining Fortress America and Axis and Allies is created by Samuel Dean and thrasher. It is about an hypothetical invasion of the US by the Axis powers Japan and Germany. The latter are joined by Mexico. We needed a kind of mechanism to limit the limit the amount of units the Axis powers were able to ship to the US each turn. We choose for nukes: the USA gets more nukes every turn and is able to destroy more and more Axis units before they reach the American shores. Right now I regret the use of nukes in the game. If you got an other concept for limiting the amount of Axis units or production please let me know. Perhaps we (Samuel and me) can change the rules then. By the way: this piece of text represends my opinion, not Samuels. If we will change the rules it will be a decision of both of us!!

Axisworld 1950


An alternate reality game based on Milton Bradley's Axis & Allies and Fortress America. The name of this game is Axisworld 1950, and takes place in an imaginary world that might have existed if the Axis Powers had been much more successful than they were in the actual history of WWII.

In this game, it's 1950, the Axis has conquered most of the world besides the United States, but the United States has developed nuclear weapons and it may be able to survive, if it can hold out against the initial onslaughts of invading troops and produce a large enough nuclear arsenal to blow the later invading navies out of the water.

The game was created by thrasher and Samuel Dean.

Because this posting is quite long, we are dividing it into four parts:

I. ""Why would I be interested in this game?""

Good question ;) A&A and FA are both very popular games, and many people might be interested in a new game which uses many of the same things that make these games great. Many people also think that these games are flawed or could be improved in some ways. In creating this new game, we have tried to make something that would be new, and yet still appealing to those who enjoy FA and A&A. We have also tried to make a new game that doesn't have many of the drawbacks of A&A or FA. After you've read the rules, you can judge for yourself how well we have succeeded. The following is a list of ways in which we think our new game has improved on Axis & Allies and Fortress America:

A big complaint I've heard about A&A and FA is that they are unbalanced. Most experienced players agree that the allies have a better chance than the axis to win A&A. In FA, people seem to disagree, as far as I can tell. Some say the invaders have the advantage, and others say that the US usually wins. The fact that people disaggree about who has the advantage suggests that it might not be so unbalanced after all, but it's still a common complaint. It's really hard to make sure that both the invaders and the defenders have equal chances; you can't foresee what type of unbeatable strategy someone might come up with. But we have a plan for ensuring that both players have an equal chance to win. It has to do with bidding for who gets to play the invaders. The US will have a fixed number of IPCs, but the invader's income will depend on what the players bid. This is how it will work: before the game starts both players will secretly write down on a piece of paper how many IPCs they want Japan to get every turn. The person who writes down the lowest number will play the Axis, the number he wrote down will be the amount of IPCs that Japan gets every turn, and Germany will get twice as many IPCs as Japan. After some playtests, it seems that 60 IPCs is probably a good bid for Japan. Of course you can use optional rules to make A&A balanced, and I think this is a good thing to do. I would recommend that a system of bidding, similar to the one described above, be used for A&A; then this game could also be balanced. But when A&A becomes balanced, another problem arises: it often reaches a semi-stalemate. Sometimes the German and Soviet players are able to pile up huge masses of infantry in Russia, Karelia, Eastern Europe or Germany. Because infantry are so much better at defending than attacking, neither side wants to attack, and the piles of infantry just keep getting bigger and bigger with no end in sight. FA has an advantage in this respect; since the invaders stop coming after turn six, they are doomed if they can't win the game before a certain point. _Axisworld 1950_ is like FA, in that it requires the invaders to gain the upper hand within certain time limits or face the prospect of an irreversable decline of their strength on the US continent, and it is better than FA, in that it has a plausible explanation as to why the invaders stop coming. One complaint about FA, is that the Americans often do not play an active enough role in defending their country. The US simply retreats every turn and waits for the time when the invaders will stop landing on their shores. Since no more than five units can occupy any area, the Americans can often halt an invasion simply by having five units in all of the critical areas, so that they won't be outnumbered. In the west, the Americans can usually prevent the Asians from moving too quickly into their country simply by having one infantry unit two areas away from the invading hordes. Many people don't like the fact that the Americans can win with a rather passive strategy. In _Axisworld 1950_, the invaders will often be spread quite thin, but they can also mass large armies and the US will have to take active measures to oppose them, either by confronting them with equally large armies, or by cutting them off from the rear. In _Axisworld 1950_, the invaders have the capability of moving into the country much more quickly, and it is not so easy for the US to slow them down by simply retreating an maintaining an infantry in front of the invaders. The Axis powers can use armor to blitz into the country, and the US must counter by destroying the advance armor when it is not accompanied by infantry. Some dislike the fact that the same units are always purchased in A&A. The most commonly purchased land unit is infantry, and some games end up with masses of infantry and very little else. A similar thing usually happens with navies. Usually, by the the third turn, the British control the Atlantic, and the Germans have no more submarines. The British often build one aircraft carrier and after that build no other naval units than transports. The Germans might build a transport in the Mediterranean but they have no reason to build any Atlantic naval units at all, since they will be destroyed by aircraft before they can attack the British fleet. The Japanese and Americans may build naval units, but the result will probably be either total domination of the Pacific Ocean by the Japanese, in which case only transports will be built, or a long stalemate, in which mostly transports and submarines are built. In none of these cases is the naval war very interesting. There are usually two or three decisive naval battles, and then the naval war is over. Most of the units end up being transports, and no one builds battleships. In _Axisworld 1950_, players have reasons to buy units other than infantry and transports. The invaders will like to buy armor, because they need to advance to the interior of the US quickly, and the US should buy armor, because the game has so much land area, and it's useful to be able to get from one place to another quickly. The invaders will never be able to completely dominate either ocean, since the presence of nukes forces them to spread out their navies. Since the US can always win big victories in some naval battles, it is cost-effective for the US to buy submarines, fighters, and bombers. The invaders also have to buy battleships or aircraft carriers to defend their transports, and these units are cheaper in Axisworld 1950 so that the Axis powers will have a greater incentive to buy them. Because bombers are immune to attack from submarines, do not need to be transported, and can occupy an invasion zone by themselves, they are often a cost-effective buy for Germany and Japan. Another complaint that people have, is that A&A and FA always turn out the same. The same strategies are used again and again, and nothing new ever happens. The setup of Axisworld 1950 is sufficiently different from FA and A&A that players will need to develop new strategies. It is enough like FA and A&A that knowledge of strategies in these games will be helpful in Axisworld 1950. Furthermore, optional rules can be added to Axisworld 1950 to prevent the same strategies from being used over and over again (See ""Semi Blind Nukes"" under the optional rules.) One complaint about FA, is that the game is out of date. Maybe the Soviet Union once had a great army, but it's really hard to be afraid of an invasion from the the big bad Russians now that they're having so much trouble in Chechnya. The Chinese? They might have a hard time invading Taiwan. But the Axis powers have always been menacing bad guys in the imagination of people around the world. The Fortress America rulebook doesn't explain many things that have to do with the realism of the game. Why do the invaders stop landing after six turns or so? Why do they stop sending reinforcements when they're about to win? And why do the Americans give up when they have fewer than twelve cities? They would surely win if they went for a longer time period. (since the invaders will stop landing after six turns). And how do the lasers kill infantry? Realism is not the main purpose of Axisworld 1950 and we think it is possible to have a great game that is not realistic, but we have attempted to make the game relatively realistic, and offer plausible explanations for the setup of the game. You can judge for yourself, but we think Axisworld 1950 is more realistic than Fortress America. It seems that FA has a political agenda. That's OK, but we don't agree with its agenda. It seems that the game was trying to show that the US should build a big navy, send weapons to Nicaragua, build the SDI, and support the NRA. These were all big issues in the 1980's. This is just a personal disagreement we have, we still think it's a great game. The purpose of this posting is to have fun. There will certainly be people who disagree with many of the things we say in this posting, just as we disagree in some ways with the people who created FA and A&A. Disagreement is OK; we didn't always agree with each other when we were creating this posting. One thing we do agree on; we are both very happy that the alternate history described in Axisworld 1950 did not really happen!! We hope that you will enjoy Axisworld 1950 as much as we enjoy A&A and FA.

II The alternate world history leading up to Axisworld 1950

This is the alternate history in which leads up to Axisworld 1950. All events prior to 1939 are the same in this world as they were in the real world. After 1939, many things are different.

Beginning September 1, 1939-1940: Germany invades and conquers Poland and most of Western Europe as they did in actual history. Japan attempts to gain influence with one of the rival factions in China, but does not invade beyond Manchuria. Germany begins air war against Great Britain, but does not invade the Soviet Union. German bombing raids concentrate on destroying British radar installations and air fields until the Royal Air Force is defeated and the Germans can bomb with impunity (in the actual war, the Germans began bombing the cities without winning the air battle, and so they ended up losing a large part of their air force). Germany begins building a larger navy. In Mexico, a right-wing dictator comes to power in a bloody coup. Some suspect the involvement of Nazi agents, and note that the new government resembles the fascist dictatorships across the Atlantic. The new Mexican government denies any connection to Nazi Germany, professes friendship towards the United States, and insists that ""strong measures are necessary to combat the threat of Communism"". Civil war breaks out in China, and Japan covertly supports one of the factions in this civil war. Over time, Japan gains increasing influence in this Chinese faction. Japan doesn't attack Pearl Harbor.

1942-1943: Germany continues to bomb Britain and invades Africa and the Middle East. An isolationist movement keeps the United States out of war. The Soviet Union abides by the Molotov-Ribbentropp pact with Germany, and it hopes that it will be the dominant power, once the warring nations have exhausted themselves. Nationalists in South Africa overthrow the British with German help and establish a government friendly to the Nazis. The Japanese continue to increase their influence in one of the factions in the Chinese civil war, and this faction gains the upper hand. German scientists develop rockets and begin bombarding Britain with them. The Americans, impressed with German success with rockets, begin a rocketry program of their own. Left wing resistance movement begins in Mexico.

1944-1945: Franklin Roosevelt loses the 1944 election in the US, and an isolationist becomes president. This was partly because of Roosevelts failing health, and partly because of an incident which became known as the ""Bolshevik-Contra Scandal"". In 1943, it had been discovered that agents from the US government had secretly sold advanced weaponry and technology to Stalin's brutal and repressive Soviet regime. Furthermore, the agents had used the profits from these sales to finance shipments of arms to a left wing guerilla movement in Mexico. This was a direct violation of the Dnalob amendment, which forbade all such shipments.;-) This scandal occurs at the worst possible time before the election, and causes Roosevelt to lose. As the war in Britain continues, Germany's larger production capabilities and the crippling effect of bombing and rocket attacks make it inevitable that Germany will eventually be able to invade and conquer Britain. Millions of refugees flee to the US as Britain surrenders unconditionally. Germany hears rumors of the development of ""superweapons"" in the US, and begins intensive espionage. Meanwhile, dictatorships in South America become more friendly towards the Nazi government. The Nazi Government begins a program in which many Afrikaners and South Americans are recruited to come to Europe and participate in ""training camps"". In these camps, the recruits receive military training, and are prepared to serve in the lower ranks of the German military. In China, the Japanese-supported faction wins the civil war, and a government largly controlled by the Japanese is established. Meanwhile, the Japanese take control of Thailand and the former colonies of England, France, and Holland. Japan gains control of Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and India. Seeing the success of training camps in Germany, the Japanese government begins a similar program, drawing on its newly obtained territories in South and Southeast Asia.

1946-1947: Germany invades Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. This war lasts throughout 1946 and 1947, but it is plain that the Russians are losing. The German Empire has a much larger supply of natural resources to draw on in Europe, Africa, and South America, a much larger industrial base in Europe to produce weaponry, and a large pool of military manpower from their training camps. Meanwhile, the Japanese military begins an invasion of Austrailia and New Zealand. They also gain the upper hand because of their greater supply of natural resources, industrial strength, and military numbers. But the Axis powers also must contend with resistance movements within the lands they have conquered, and these movements cause the wars to last longer than they might have otherwise.

1948-1949: Non-isolationists win elections in the US. Japanese conquer Australia and invade the Eastern parts of the Soviet Union. Germans march triumphantly into Moscow, and the Japanese take control of everything to the east of the Urals. Both begin to build larger navies, and an invasion of the US seems imminent. German spies discover that the United States has developped nuclear weapons. In fact, the US has developped a nuclear warhead large enough to destroy all of the ships in a fairly large area of the ocean. The German and Japanese governments are not at all close to achieving this capability. They both agree, that the United States should not be allowed to manufacture a large stockpile of these weapons.

In December of 1949, the German and Japanese governments hold a summit in Moscow, Mexican diplomats are also invited. They resolve to invade the United States and conquer it before the US government has a chance to build up a nuclear arsenal.

Mexico also wants to participate, but its goal is to regain some of the territory which it lost 100 years before. Mexico does not want to have foreign troops on its own soil. In exchange for its cooperation, Mexico receives a guarantee from the Axis powers that they will not enter Mexican territory unless US troops invade Mexico. Mexican agents leak news of this agreement to the American government. The US knows, that if Axis troops are able to land in Mexico, then it will be more difficult to stop them with nuclear weapons. The US resolves not to attack Mexican soil until the other Axis powers have been defeated.

Of course the Axis powers want to commit as much of their resources and manpower as possible to the coming war with America, but they are also faced with other threats. Resistance movements continue to threaten their control of conquered lands, and if they remove too many forces from these lands to fight the war in America, guerrillas might succeed in overthrowing their local government. But on the other hand, the Axis Powers must win the war with America as quickly as possible. The US can already use a nuclear weapon to destroy some of the invading ships, and if it has enough time, the US government will be able to manufacture enough warheads to make itself invulnerable.

In view of the relative dangers, the Axis Powers negotiate about how many forces they will send to the war in America. Early in the negotiations, the two powers agree that the contribution of the German Empire should be double that of the Japanese Empire. The German Empire is more powerful, and capable of giving a larger contribution.

Now they must decide how much the Japanese Empire should contribute.

It is now 1950.

This is where the game begins.

If anyone has any comments about or criticism of this alternate history, that it's unrealistic or improbable, I would be glad to hear from you. Please post an answer in the newsgroup, or send me a message at and

III. How to play the game

The rules for the game are divided into the following sections:

Getting started: The Map, the Pieces and the bidding The Initial Setup and Cost of New Items The First Turn for the US The Axis' First Turn Victory Conditions

A Getting started: The Map, the Pieces and the bidding

To play this game you need the following items:

From FA:

The map. The rules are somewhat modified for this map. Several invasion zones have been added, and any air unit can expend one movement point to move over any one of the Great Lakes. The red, blue, and yellow, and green infantry and hovertanks. (Germany is red, Japan is yellow, Mexico is blue, and America is green.) The partisans. The city markers. The laser towers (These represent laboratories where nuclear warheads are produced, along with the rockets from which the warheads are launched.) The red, blue, and yellow control markers The laser markers (These represent warheads.) From A&A:

The industrial complexes The infantry, armor, bombers, fighters, transports, battleships, aircraft carriers, and submarines of all five countries The money (IPCs) The anti-aircraft guns America uses, the green (US) infantry, armor, fighters, bombers and submarines, the US may also use the submarines from other countries, if necessary, since Japan and Germany will never buy submarines. Germany and Japan use the gray and yellow infantry, armor, fighters, bombers, transports, carriers, and battleships. The Axis may also use units from Britain and the USSR, since these countries are not in the game.

The US begins the game with a production of 54 IPCs. These come from its 30 cities and 12 industrial complexes. Each city produces 1 IPC and each Industrial Complex produces 2 IPCs per turn.

First, the two players must decide who will play the Axis. Both of them submit bids, and the one with the lowest bid plays the Axis and gets the number of IPCs he bid for Japan every turn. Germany gets twice this number of IPCs. Mexico gets five IPCs per turn.

Before the first turn, each of the players receive double their IPC production to build the weapons with which they will begin their first turn.


Player 1 bids 70 IPCs. Player 2 bids 60 IPCs. Player 2 will play the axis and get 60 IPCs per turn. Before the first turn starts, Japan gets 120 IPCs to build its starting units. Likewise before the first turn, Germany will get 240 IPCs, The US will get 108 IPCs, and Mexico will get 10.

B. The Initial Setup for the Invaders and the US and the cost of new items

1. Turn Order for Initial Setup and later turns

The turn order goes as follows: a. US b. Japan c. Mexico d. Germany

Before the countries begin the first turn, they place their starting units on the board using the turn order above.

2. US Setup

First, the US must place its cities and industrial complexes on the board. For every city it owns, the US receives 1 IPC every turn. The US should also place the 12 industrial complexes on city areas on the board. Every city area with an industrial complex produces 3 IPCs instead of only one.

Non-infantry units can only be produced where there is a factory marker, so it is a good idea to place one industrial complex on each of the two coasts and the rest in the interior of the country, where they will be safer from enemy attack.

Now America must buy and place its initial units. Before the first turn, units can be placed anywhere on the board. Thus, the Americans can start the game placing as many infantry as they can afford in any given area, and as many submarines as they afford in any given sea zone. But the units bought in later turns have certain restrictions as to where they can be placed.

3. Cost of Units

Note that all nations may always save IPCs from one turn to the next. Units have the following costs:

Partisans 3 IPCs Infantry 3 IPCs Armor 5 IPCs Submarines 8 IPCs Transports 8 IPCs Fighters 12 IPCs Bombers 15 IPCs Anti Aircraft Gun 5 IPCs NOTE: Partisans cannot be bought until America's second turn, since they can only be placed inside or adjacent to a land area controlled by invading forces.

Nuclear Laboratory and Missile Launcher: 10 IPCs The US can only build ONE laboratory at the start, and ONE per turn thereafter. Nuclear warhead and rocket to launch it in: 1 IPC The US can only build one warhead for each laboratory which is already built at the start of its turn. But the US _can_ buy one warhead before it's first turn. (we are assuming that the first laboratory was build some time earlier.)

Aircraft carriers 10 IPCs Battleships 12 IPCs


We made these changes so that these units might be used more often, and so that the strategy could be more interesting. We are assuming that labor and raw materials are very cheap in the Axis powers, so they are capable of building big things like battleships for many fewer IPCs.

It is a good strategy for the US to buy a large number of submarines for its initial purchases, but it cannot buy any other naval units. (this would be a terrible strategy anyway)

Example of US initial purchases: The US uses its 108 IPCs to purchase 1 nuclear warhead, 1 nuclear laboratory, 6 submarines, 13 infantry, and 2 armor. It places the infantry along the east and west coast in groups of 2 or three, the laboratory and warhead on safer inland areas, and all six submarines together on the east coast. The armor are near the Gulf of Mexico.

4. New Cities

Both the invaders and the US can build new cities and industrial complexes, but there can never be more than 30 cities and 12 industrial complexes in the US at a time. Cities are less expensive to build if they are placed where there is a city site marked on the map. Industrial complexes can only be built where there is already a city. The US usually builds new cities further inland to replace the ones destroyed by the enemy. While Mexico builds new cities to increase its production.

The costs for Mexico or the United States are as follows:

To build a city on a city site: 2 IPCs To build a city on a non-city Site: 4 IPCs To build an industrial complex (must be on a city): 6 IPCs

NOTE: Mexico can only build infantry until it has an industrial complex.

Japan and Germany build new cities to support their troops and to manufacture and repair small weapons so that they do not have to be brought from overseas. Each city owned by the Axis can produce one IPC, and each city which also has an industrial complex on it produces 3 IPCs. For every 3 IPCs it produces on the American continent, an Axis Power can produce 1 infantry in an American city. Axis powers can likewise use Industrial complexes to produce other types of weapons, but they may only use IPCs from the American continent to produce these weapons.

Example of Axis power using production in America: At the start of it's fifth turn, Japan has already built three cities in America. It has a city in Portland, one in Los Angeles, and one in San Francisco. The city in San Francisco also has an industrial complex on it. Japan receives 3+1+1=5 IPCs, which it can use to build something in the US. At the start of the previous turn, Japan had had two cities, and it had saved the two IPCs from that turn. Now Japan can use its seven IPCs to produce one tank in San Francisco, still having 2 IPCs left over, or one infantry each on two of the cities and still have 1 IPC left over.

Each Axis city or industrial complex must be brought to the American continent on a transport, and the transport cannot carry anything else besides the one city or industrial complex. Germany and Japan must build their cities on American city sites. The costs for Germany and Japan are as follows:

City: 6 IPCs Industrial Complex: 18 IPCs Note that an Axis power's newly purchased city or industrial complex starts out in an invasion zone, and must be moved to an area in the US before it can be built. The city moves the same as an infantry unit in the first and second movement phases, and it can continue to move as far inland as the Axis power decides until the Axis power decides to activate the unit and build the city. Cities are built during the placement phase, and until a city is activated, the Axis power does not receive the benefits of IPC production or support from the city.

5. Axis Initial Purchases

Now the Axis must make its initial purchases, and it must place them in the invasion zones by the US. Japan has seven invasion zones. Six of them are marked on the map, and a seventh is west of San Diego. Mexico has all of the land invasion zones marked on the map. Germany has nine invasion zones. Six are marked on the map as the invasion zones on the eastern seaboard. One is marked on the map as the Mexican sea invasion zone. One zone extends from Miami to New Orleans. One zone is to the north and includes Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Neither Germany nor Japan may enter Canada or Mexico.

The Axis may place any unit in any sea zone even if this sea zone is occupied by American submarines. However, the following restrictions apply: Tanks and infantry must be on transports. Fighters must be on aircraft carriers. Bombers must have an area controlled by the Axis on the coast where they can land. (Thus, bombers can't arrive on the first turn).

Mexico may build infantry units in any of its invasion zones, and it may build an industrial complex in any of these zones, or on any American city site where it has built a city, but Mexico does not begin the game with any industrial complexes. Mexico may only produce units other than infantry in places where it has built an industrial complex. Mexico may build a city in any US non-city site area at a cost of 4 IPCs.

Example initial buys for the Axis: Japan uses its 120 IPCs to buy 3 battleships, 6 transports, and 12 infantry. It places these units in three groups in the invasion zones by San Diego, Portland, and Los Angeles. Each group has 1 battleship, 2 transports, and 4 infantry. Mexico uses its 10 IPCs to buy 3 infantry, it puts 2 by San Antonio, and 1 by Phoenix, and has 1 IPC left over. Germany uses its 240 IPCs to buy 6 battleships, 12 transports, and 24 infantry. It divides them into six groups, each having 1 battleship, 2 transports, and 4 infantry. It will invade the Houston sea zone, the New Orleans sea zone. The Orlando sea zone, the sea zone two areas east of Atlanta, the Washinton sea zone, and the Boston sea zone.

Note that the Axis powers spread out their invasion and all of their attacking groups are the same size. They know that one force will get nuked, probably the biggest one, and they don't want to have one group that's too big. But the groups are fairly large, because they need to defend against submarines.

C. The first turn for the US

Now we are ready to describe rules for the US turn move. The turn has six parts:

Collect IPCs Purchase new units First movement Combat resolution (land and sea) Second movement Place new units 1. Collect IPCs

The US receives 3 IPCs for every industrial complex it owns, and 1 IPC for every city which does not have an industrial complex.

2. Purchase new units

The US buys new units using the prices listed earlier. These units are not placed on the board yet.

Example of first turn purchases for the US. The US uses its 54 IPCs to buy 1 nuclear warhead, 1 nuclear laboratory, 1 submarine, 1 armor, and 10 infantry

3. First Movement

Units have the following movement capabilities:

Partisans and infantry may move one land area Armor may move two land areas Fighters may move four land or sea areas Bombers may move six land or sea areas Naval units may move two sea areas NOTE: The New Orleans sea zone counts as two areas for the purposes of movement. If a unit begins its turn inside the New Orleans sea zone, it only needs to use 1 movement point to get out of the zone. A unit can move into the New Orleans sea zone even if it only has 1 movement point left. But if a unit moves into the zone, it must expend 2 movement points before it can move out of the zone again.

NOTE: The US may not attack areas in Mexico.

Land units may enter an area occupied by enemy units, but they must stop in this area. Partisans may enter an area occupied by enemy forces without attacking these forces. Air units may fly over or land in any area, regardless of what enemy units are there. Naval units may pass through any sea zone, regardless of what enemy units are there. If you wish to attack enemy units, your units which",0

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