Brink of War

- by Joseph G. -


This scenario starts just before the break out of World War II. Germany and Japan have constructed formidable war machines and, to the chagrin of the international community, established substantial territorial claims on the European and Asian continent. Now, in order to fulfill their national destinies, they must disrupt the fragile peace and take what they can as fast as they can. Relive Pearl Harbor, Operation Barbarrosa, and D-Day. Or you can carve your own path through the war, start to finish.

Objectives and unit mechanics have not been changed at all. A few additional rules, however, help simulate the geopolitical forces at work during World War II.

For the initial setup click here.


Cash at startIPC-level at start
United Kingdom3047
United States3639

Rules for Brink of War: CD-ROM rules

This scenario was designed for the Axis and Allies CD-ROM. The following CD-ROM rules are in effect:

Subs may submerge

Naval Occupation: you are allowed to build naval units in a seazone that is occupied by enemy naval units

Aerial Retreat: air units may retreat during a amphibious assault

2-Hit Battleship

Rules for Brink of War: Politics

At the start of the game all Allied powers are NEUTRAL towards the Axis. This means that the Allies may not make any combat moves against the Axis. The Axis powers are free to violate neutrality. Once an Axis power violates the neutrality of an Ally, war immediately exists between that Axis and that Allied power. The Ally is then allowed to make combat moves against that Axis power.

What constitutes a violation of neutrality?

Russia: any attack made on any of its territories. UK: any attack made on any of its units or territories. USA: any attack made on any of its units or territories except in China and Sinkaing. If troops from Japan and Germany occupy a seazone or territory together, that territory or seazone may be attacked by either the Allied powers at war with Japan or the Allied powers at war with Germany even when the Allied powers at war with Japan are not the same as the Allied powers at war with Germany.

On the 8th round, all Allied powers who are still neutral may begin making combat moves against the Axis.


Here are some hypothetical situations to help you understand the aforementioned rules.

1. On his first turn, Russia may make no combat moves because no Axis power has violated his neutrality. During his non-combat phase, however, Russia moves a transport into the North Sea in order to bolster the British fleet there. On Germany's first turn, Germany decides to bomb the British fleet in the North Sea. The Russian transport is present in the battle.

Question: Who is Germany now at war with?

Answer: Germany is at war with the United Kingdom, because (as stated in the rules above), any attack made on a British unit is considered a violation of neutrality. Germany is NOT at war with Russia, however, because (as stated in the rules above), an attack on a Russian unit does not constitute a violation of neutrality. Only an attack on a Russian territory constitutes a violation of Russian neutrality.

2. In a different game, Germany makes a similar attack on Britain's fleet in the North Sea, except, instead of a Russian transport, an American transport is present in the battle.

Question: Who is Germany now at war with?

Answer: Germany is at war with the United Kingdom for the aforementioned reasons. Germany is also at war with the United States, because, unlike in the case of Russia, an attack on any American unit is considered a violation of neutrality.

3. On Japan's first move, Japan attacks American-owned China.

Question: Who is Japan now at war with?

Answer: Nobody. Sinkaing and China are the only two territories that, when invaded, do not result in a violation of neutrality. The rules clearly state that. The USA is still neutral with respect to Japan and may make no combat moves against it.

4. Later on in the same game, Japan attacks India. An American and Russian soldier are present.

Question: Who is Japan now at war with?

Answer: Japan is at war with the UK because any attack on a UK territory is considered a violation of UK neutrality. Japan is at war with the USA because any attack on a USA unit is considered a violation of USA neutrality. Japan, however, is NOT at war with Russia, because , as stated in the rules, Russia remains neutral until one of her TERRITORIES (not her units) is attacked.

5. Russia is at war with Japan but not Germany. On its non-combat phase, Japan moves a bomber into a German territory. Until the Japanese Bomber leaves that territory, it is a potential target for Russian forces. This does not change Russia’s nuetral status towards Germany even if Russian forces invade and take that territory when the Japanese bomber is present. As soon as the Japanese bomber leaves, however, Russia may no longer attack that territory as long as it is still at peace with the Germans.

Initial Setup

The initial setup files for this scenario have been lost. If you have them, please post them.


Germany: Germany must always, on its first turn, take Western Europe. If it fails to perform this relatively simple task, the United Kingdom will start using the Industrial Complex there to build up an unstoppable force on the mainland of Europe. Also, it is highly recommended that Germany takes Eastern Europe on the same turn, for increased income. From that point, I have seen three strategies work for Germany. The first and most common is to keep the British fleet at bay with bombers and fighters at to expand in Africa without declaring war on the United States or Russia (although sometimes, naval conflict necessitates that war be declared on the United States). The second strategy is to keep the British fleet at bay and invade Russia without declaring war on the United States. The third and most challenging (but far less challenging than in the regular game) is to build up a fleet in the North Sea using the industrial complex in France and invade England. This strategy requires that no war be declared on Russia.

Japan: I have seen a few strategies used relatively well with Japan. Most of the times, Japan avoids declaring war on Russia, unless in an effort to assist Germany (Like in the regular game, Japanese-German collaboration against Russia can be quite effective). The critical question for Japan is, how much it can expand without declaring war on the United States? It is generally a good idea to take China and Sinkaing since attacks on these territories do not constitute a violation of US neutrality. Another reason to attack China and Sinkaing is to prevent the American units there from moving into French Indo China and India. Once American units are present in French Indo China and India, any attack on those territories will constitute a violation of neutrality against both the UK and the United States. Thanks to Japans large transport fleet, it is easy to pick off the Pacific islands one by one and transport units to the mainland. A far better way to build up forces in Asia however is to build an Industrial Complex in one of the more valuable territories.

UK: WOW, this is a tough one. The United Kingdom usually winds up shouldering the brunt of the war in the first few rounds because the Axis try to avoid war with Russia and the United States. But a good performance by the UK is key to Allied victory. Transport units from your Pacific colonies into India and always build a factory there to keep the Japanese under control. Do your best to keep German Expansion in Africa at bay. If Britain can survive the first three or four rounds, relief usually comes.

USA: The United States doesn't normally enter the war right away (if the Axis powers know what they're doing), but is still a VERY active power even in the first rounds. Because the Axis players will normally want to avoid conflict with the United States, a single American infantry unit in a British territory can keep that territory safe from Axis aggression for rounds and rounds. Ship infantry into Africa right away and always move troops from China/Sinkaing into India. Another clever idea is to add a transport to the British navy in the North Sea so that if Germans attack the fleet there, they will be forced to violate US neutrality. Be warned, if the presence of American forces across the globe makes expansion impossible for the Axis without violating US neutrality, the Axis WILL violate US neutrality. So don't allow your transports to meander unprotected.

USSR: The Soviet Union can be a boring power to play during the first few rounds since few players will ever have the courage to violate Soviet neutrality. Build up your infantry consistently. Once you have 30 to 40 infantry on the board, start building tanks to prepare for the 8th round when all neutrality pacts become null and void. THAT's when it normally starts getting interesting for the Russians.

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