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Axis & Allies: Molher House Rules (Howard Mohler, M.I.T. games club)

The following "house rules" are used at the M.I.T. games club. They were developed (mostly) by Howard Mohler. Many hundreds of games have been played under these rules over the past decade. This variant appears balanced.

Some of the rules have been adopted in some of the MB editions.

MAP MODIFICATIONS

  • Panama: The sea zone around Panama is divided to two zones (one on each side of the canal).
  • Turkey: A land bridge (for tanks+infs+AAA) exists between Turkey and S. Europe as well as E. Europe.
  • Sweden: The line connecting W. Europe to Finland-Norway is moved. It now connects W. Europe to Sweden. (i.e. Sweden now adjoins the North Sea).
  • Gibraltar: The line connecting Spain with Africa is moved to the narrowest point (i.e. Gibraltar). Gibraltar is now accessible from the Atlantic.

STRAITS Unless a side controls a straits, surface ships may not cross it (unlike a canal, where submarines cannot cross it either). The following are Straits:

  • Gibraltar - Algeria
  • W. Europe - Sweden
  • Turkey (who alone controls the entrance to the Black Sea)
  • While Neutral, Sweden ALLOWS both sides through the strait (and hence W. Europe alone control the strait). While Neutral, turkey FORBIDS both sides passage through the strait (and hence the Black Sea is off-limits to surface ships).

OPTIONAL PLACEMENT The original placement of:

  • British Gibraltar Battleship.
  • German W. Europe Sub.
  • British Syria-Iraq Sub.
  • American, Western U.S. Battleship+Transport.

(in the above order) can be placed on any of the sea zones adjoined by the listed province (provided it is not enemy-occupied).

STARTUP BONUS As their populations are enthusiastic about the war, Germany and Japan get a bonus of $8 and $4, respectively, in the begining and the end of the first turn. Afterward, (when the body-bags arrive home, and people realize that war is hell) no more bonus.

JOINT COMMAND After new units are produced (i.e. the last action of a turn) joint command of forces may be assumed. Any unit in a province may take command of ALL (friendly) forces in that province. The next time the nation to which the commanding unit belongs moves, it may also move any or all commanded units. Commanded units may continue to move at the commanding unit's turn so long there is at least one unit from the commanding nation in the force. Commanded units may pull out of the joint force on their own nation turn. However, under no circumstances may a unit move twice on the same turn. When attacked, joint forces defend at the discretion of the commanding nation player (i.e. the U.S. player decides what casualties are taken first if a force commanded by a U.S. unit is attacked). When a province containing forces of different nations not under one joint command, the attacker decide which nation (or which command, in case of multiple commands) takes casualties first (nonetheless, all defenders shoot back).

DISCOUNTED HARDWARE

  • Subs -- $6
  • Battleships -- $20
  • IC -- $10

I.C. LIMITS An I.C. (including initial I.C.'s) can produce goods valued at no more than 5 times the province's value. (Thus, an I.C. in Manchuria can produce $15 worth of goods per turn - say 3 tanks or 5 infs.) Note that Russia can never build a capital ship (unless it captures a German factory).

The capacity of an I.C. is reduced by $1 for each Bombing die rolled against it in the past turn. (i.e. a japanese I.C. in Manchuria that was bombed by a British and by a U.S. bomber will - for that turn onle - have capacity reduced to $13). An I.C. may not be bombed for more than its capacity (i.e. if three bombers bomb Manchuria for a total of $18, only $15 are paid).

NONCOMBAT LANDINGS Immediately after a province has been captured, air units may land there during the non-combat phase, provided they have not moved during the combat phase.

STEALING AAA After a province with an AAA is captured, the AAA may be moved provided it has not fired during the battle (i.e. the attack did not involve air units). It is legal for a transport to dump the AAA overboard (one would do that if one has "stolen" an AAA and has no place to put it - and one needs the Transport space)

BRIBED OVERFLIGHTS At a cost of $3 (per province) a player may bribe a neutral province to overlook air-units overflights. The bribe would allow violation of the Neutral airspace by as many air units as desired during one (nation's) turn. This action does not cause the Neutral to become occupied or to become less Neutral.

CAPTURING A CAPITAL When a capital is captured, the attacker is awarded 1/2 the cash of the defender (rounded down) with the rest of the money destroyed. A player whose capital is captured continues to collect income (from his other provinces) but may not build anything. (Research, see below, may still be performed).

At the beginning of its turn, a capital-less nation may declare civil disorder by removing all its units from the board and returning all its cash to the bank. (This will allow its allies to "capture" its former provinces and get income for them). Civil disorder is not reversible.

TRANSPORTS A Transport must do all its pick-ups (in a given turn) at the same place.

A Transport must do all its drop-offs (in a given turn) at the same place.

Amphibious landing units may not retreat from battle, other units with them (such as air units) may retreat, leaving the marines to fight on their own.

RESEARCH The entire research table was reworked as to provide for less randomizing events (i.e. under MB rules, a player in a competitive position will gain automatic victory if he gets a good research result cheaply). Also, this version allows for much more varied games.

At the beginning of the game, each nation other than the Soviet Union gets one free roll (Stalin should have thought twice before purging all his scientists in the 1930's). If that result is not desired, it may be rerolled (once only). In addition, Germany and the U.S. (The scientific powerhouses) get one free attempt (i.e. a result, if a 6 is rolled) every turn. In addition, any nation at the beginning of its turn may make One paid research attempt. Price for attempted research:

$5 - will succeed on a roll of a 6 $9 - on a roll of 5 or more. $12 - on a roll of 4 or more. $14 - on a roll of 3 or more. If a result is achieved, the player sets one die and roll the other two to determine what that result is. (This gives player some flexibility as to what type of results are desired). If a result is already owned, it is rerolled.

The result is determined by the sum of the three dies as follows:

3-5 RADAR/SONAR Your AAA now shoot at 2. Enemy subs no longer surprise you (i.e. what they sink shoots back).

6 HEAVY SHIPS Your Transports now carry 3 infs (or inf+tank). Your Carriers now carry 3 fighters.

7 JET POWER Your fighters now roll two dies on defense (for 4).

8 LONG RNG SHIPS Your surface ships now move 3.

9 IMPROVED LABS You get a free research attempt every turn (for Germany and the U.S. the free attempt is now on a roll of 5 or 6). Also, paid research will now buy you one lower die-number (i.e., $5 will succeed on a 5 or a 6; $14 will on 2 or more). Also, when getting a result, you may set *2* dies and roll only 1.

10 IMPROVED AGRI All provinces worth $2 or more controlled at the Start of your turn will produce $1 extra. (Does not count toward economic victory).

11 INDSTRIAL TECH Infs are now $2.5 each (rounded up). Everything else is now $1 cheaper (does not effect research, rockets, bribes).

12 SUPER SUBS Your subs ATTACK at 3 and move 3.

13 ROCKETS Your AAA are now also rocket launchers. Rockets cost $1 each and can be fired one per gun (which may not move that turn). Range = 2 provinces. Effect: same as strategic bombing (but can't be shoot down).

14 LONG RANGE AIR Your fighters now move 6; your bombers 8.

15 SUPERTANKS Your tanks now attack at 4. They also move 3 provided the first two provinces are friendly.

16+ HEAVY BOMBERS Your bombers now roll two dies on attack and bombing. By doubling the cost of the research attempt, a player may place two 2 dice and roll only 1. This is called Directed Research. A player who has Improved labs may conduct directed research attempts. If successful, the player determines the results he gets.



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