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War readiness verses MPP gained for Axis


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Just did a little playing around to find out which countries would be the most cost effective for axis to attack in regards to gained MPP verses the war readiness of US/USSR.

Please understand this was just for fun and not to be taken as some guide of which countries to attack or not to attack. Those choices are usually based on strategy. Although, certainly the cost of war readiness is a factor in that process.

The lower the number the less cost effective it is in regards to the MPP points you gain verses the war readiness you give up in attacking that country. So the higher the number the better.

The first column is for the USSR

The second column is for the USA

The last column is the war readiness of both nations combined.

Country USSR USA Total of both

Yugo .88, 2.0, .62,

Turk 1.2, 6.6, 1.0,

LC 3.2, 2.1, 1.3,

Denmark 4.0, 2.7, 1.6,

Spain 8.7, 2.6, 2.0,

Vichy 8.8, 2.9, 2.2,

Iraq 4.5, 4.5, 2.3,

Sweden 11.2, 3.5, 2.7,

Norway 7.0, 11.2, 4.3,

(Norway and Sweden assuming both taken by axis)

Remember this was done just for fun. Not as some chart of what to attack or not.

My only question would be on Sweden. Why is it that the USA war readiness goes up so much more for Sweden than the USSR? I would think that with Sweden so close to the USSR that it would be just the opposite. Mr. H.C. ????

[ November 24, 2003, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Curry ]

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Great info, Curry and same comment as Blashy.

Generally speaking, I think both U. S. & U. S. S. R. increases far too quickly. It seems doubtful to me that either nation, unless attacked or DoW'd upon, would have been drawn into the war earlier than mid-43; if at all.

[ November 28, 2003, 04:05 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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If you stick to the actual German expansion, I would agree.

But if you start taking country after country showing that you will own all of Europe (apart from USSR) and North African, add that you take the Iraq oil wells. I think any country opposing the Axis would jump the gun sooner.

But, I do agree with you that if you only take what the Axis took in WW2 (France, LC, Denmark, Norway, Yugoslavia after the coup, Greece and possibly the UK owned Africa) then the USA and USSR probably would not have joined until a later date from what we see now.

But this is easily fixed by putting USSR readiness at 0%, USA is another matter. Sure makes Axis winning easier !

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The USSR was primarily concerned with nations on their borders. Relations with Germany didn't begin going sour till after the fall of France, when Stalin asked for a Norwegian warm water port and German backing for a rail line extending across Northern Sweden and Finland connecting the port to Russia.

Considering the two nations were supposed to be working together this was not an unreasonable request. When it was refulsed, Molotov was sent to Germany supposedly to patch things up, but he was very antagonistic, which seems to have been a diplomatic ploy. Soon after the visit Germany began increasing deployments in the east which reduced, rather than increased Soviet War readiness! Stalin did not want a war! If Hitler would have dealt with him in any sort of reasonable manner it could have been averted.

Generally speaking, after the fall of France, if Hitler would have taken the time to make reasonable offers, such as drawing a line where the USSR took Afghanistan and Iran, while Germany agreed not to invade Turkey and not to move any further east than Iraq, their cooperation might have continued indefinitely. Stalin didn't really care about Hitler's aggressions in Europe as long as there was something in it for his own country. Hitler's reason was clouded by his own preconceived idea of devastating European Russia and populating it with German war veterans as feudal manor lords.

The United States in 1940 was totally isolationist. If neither Japan nor Germany had attacked or DoW'd the American public would not have been persuaded to become involved. The sole exception might have been Axis incursion into Greenland, the Caribean and Central or South America. If Germany braught the UK to it's knees, FDR would almost certainly have brokered a peace plan. German refusal of such actions might have stirred ill feelings in the U. S., but invasions of minor nations seemed to raise little reaction.

Historically FDR did as much as he could possibly do to stir American sentiment against both Germany and the Japanese and it was a PR dud till the unwise attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan could no doubt have skirted the oil embargo by simply invading the Dutch East Indies without attacking the U. S.; it never understood the American political scene and made a series of mistakes in it's actions, virtually creating the war.

These aren't just my opinions, they're views that have been expressed by many 20th Century Historians.

I hope nobody asks me to cite sources as is sometimes the case at the General Forum, because my answer would the same here as it is there. I'm not researching a book on the subject, I'm stating things I've read over the decades and whoever doesn't believe any of it can choose not to, if they read enough on the subject they'll come across those same opinions. If not it doesn't matter much to me, they're entitled to their opinions, provided they don't become beligerant about mine; again, this is a carryover from the General Forum, just stating it here because it comes up so often over there. ;)


Agreed about making an Axis victory easier, but the problem is Historical accuracy doesn't change to suit game purposes.

Britain standing alone can be well represented through Zappsweden's Lend-Lease approach of making several USA MPP hexes UK till America enters the war. Additionally, I've sometimes colored USSR city hexes as UK, yeilding 3 MPPs instead of 5, but still helping considerably.

Stalin was not a nice person, if he thought he could have successfuly bucked Germany he would have. The truth is, the Soviet Army had almost no offensive value against Germany's prior to Barbarossa. After the initial fiascos it began learning at an accelerated pace through necessity and only gradually, through great loss, raised it's standards and tactics. By 1943 it was a totally different organization than it had been two years earlier.

Unfortunately this is not reflected in the game system.

It was also one of my complaints against CoS, where US & especially USSR war readiness was greatly exaggerated for game purposes.

[ November 28, 2003, 04:40 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Nice facts you put there and I agree.

Funny thing about Japan. Hiro Hito their greatest general was the only one who was totally against going after USA. Right after Pearl Harbor he said his famous statement: "I fear we have awaken a sleeping giant".

Hitler's generals, well they did not want to go against Russia, then again they did not agree on MANY things Hitler planned.

Funny how the military minds of each Axis did not have an overly aggressive stance while their leaders did. That's what happens when you think to highly of yourself tongue.giftongue.giftongue.giftongue.giftongue.gif To Hitler and the Emperor.

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I thought it was interesting too. Thanks Curry.

Just had two thoughts, not sure how good they are, hence the posting:

1) Perhaps there could be something built into the game so that a really aggressive Axis player risks having ALL the neutral minors join the allies.

Such a situation could be where the Axis does too much cookie-cutting, and acts very ahistorical, such as by invading Switzerland; Sweden; Spain or Turkey.

It could be something that has a small % chance of happening, but it might be enough to prevent all but the bravest from carving up the whole of Europe in the first 2 years of the game.

As long as it didn't happen too late to help the allied cause, it could really change the face of the game. However, there should just be a chance of it happening, never a certainty.

2) In the real war, Greece joined the allied side in late 1940, but was only conquered in April 1941. I know that they joined in because Mussolini attacked them, but perhaps there could be a random factor built in, a bit like there is for Yugoslavia, causing them to join the allied cause before the Axis are ready to invade them.

The extra MPPs and entrenchment would be useful, possibly opening up a route for the allies into Europe if they are in a strong Mediterrenean position when it happens.

[ November 28, 2003, 08:36 AM: Message edited by: Bill101 ]

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JerseyJohn has already stated my opinion on the war readiness of US and USSR. Not much I can add there, especially since I've come to the same conclusions he has by reading various stuff over the years.

I would like to point out that Japan wasn't part of the Axis, just like Russia wasn't part of the Allies. But those are minor points in this discussion.

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Shaka, Blashy & Bill101

Glad we're all agreed on the basic issue of USA & USSR. Granted it would be very difficult to recreate that historical situation in a WW II European Front game, but history shouldn't revise itself for game purposes.

I think there's enough material still to be considered on the subject to easily start a Thread on each of it's many aspects!


There was a weak effort by Poland in the early thirties to form all of the Balkan and Baltic countries, including the Scandinavian nations, into a United Defensive Alliance against either Soviet or German aggression. A number of factors conspired against it.

For one thing neither country was, as yet, acting aggressively toward other countries.

After initially having it's idea ignored, Poland began making cooperative agreements with Germany, and was ironically seen as a Friend of the Reich by the Balkan States.

Worst of all, Hungray, Romania and Bulgaria all covetted parts of each other's territory as well as border areas of Yugoslavia. Greece still felt left out and covetted parts of Western Turkey and Albania had become an Italian protectorate, though it was not actually occupied till the Spring of 1939. One Italian general said it was "raping one's wife!" :D

By the time Germany absorbed Austria (making Chzechoslovakia indefensible, despite the famous Sudetenland Fortifications -- which would simply have been bypassed from the south, out of Austria!) and moved on Chzechoslovakia, the idea was already long dead.

That movement having come to nothing, a second movement called the Balkan League was bandied about. I know little about this movement except it didn't work either. For a start, Turkey was as ambiguously with it's neighbors as it would later be with Germany.

After the partition of Chzechoslovakia, Hungary was a full fledged German Ally, occupying part of that country for itself. Poland also took part of Chzechoslovakia, making it equally untrustworthy in the eyes of it's neighbors.

With Hungary a German Ally, Romania saw it's border as untenable against Germany. Any delussion of neutrality was dispelled by Stalin's occupation of her eastern territories, and that country also swung over to Germany.

Bulgaria, likewise made indefensible by Romania's alignment with Germany, went over as well. Hitler's scheme of divide and conquer, never very appreciated by historians, was working excellently.

At the time Italy made it's foolish move on Greece -- during the Autumn rainy season! -- Germany was on the verge of swinging both Greece and Yugoslavia into the Axis as well. It has to be noted that Italy was not privy to German diplomatic schemes and Germany was not told of Italy's military adventures before they were launched. Mussolini had designs on Yugoslavia and Greece since the twenties, so the failure to work around this was primarily Germany's.

Yugoslavia and Greece were monarchies who's ruling families were closely related. Though not formally allied, they generally acted together.

So, after all that, I'd have to say there was little if any probability of the minor countries acting in unity. Distance from Germany was a big factor. Turkey was in a better geographical position to go it's own way than countries like Hungary, Denmark, Holland or Belgium. In the case of a Balkan League, whichever country was nearest Germany could be certain of a devastating invasion and almost certain conquest before it's allies could render effective assistance. Not much of an incentive to fight!

Again, contrary to war game opinion (HiCom and CoS both support the chance of minor countries fighting Germany) I believe the more aggressive Germany was the lower the chance that minor countries would have stood up to her.

Aside from which, most of them hated each other too much to band together. On the Russian Front, for example, Hungarian and Romanian units always needed to be separated by either a German or Italian unit, or there pickets would start shooting at one another! Bulgaria didn't send troops to Russia, but it's animosity toward Romania was equally livid.

[ November 28, 2003, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Thanks for this John. You're quite right about the realistic likelihood of neutrals joining the allies.

I did start designing a campaign scenario based around an Eastern European alliance about a year ago, but when I playtested it it seemed to give the Axis more of an advantage rather than less.

I put these suggestions here because I would like SC2 to be a bit more balanced (I'm not really too keen on bidding), even though I had some doubts myself about the main suggestion.

That said, there is no historical reason why Greece can't have a chance to join the allies in late 1940.

Given Mussolini's relative independence from Hitler's plans that you described, having the Axis player finding an extra enemy when they least want one could be useful to the allies.

I'm thinking of something that would take control of Italy's foreign policy out of the Axis player's hands and into the hands of the AI, at least just as far as Greece is concerned.

Hence a random chance, starting after the fall of France, that a message pops up saying "Italy declares war on Greece".

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I think starting the game with Greece as allies is fair.

For one, it gives the Greece time to fully entrench, they were hell to ferret out of the mountains.

And 2nd, even though they were not officially allies, you could easily say they were in the shawdows. So the extra MPP would go to UK for a bit, evening things out. I feel the same way about Ireland. Whatever the Irish had for sale that could be used in the conflict, it was being bought by UK, not the Axis. Even if they did not want to do it, they had no choice, too many UK ships patrolling their waters.

This should go for the LC also, have them start on the Allied side. One it does not mean death on the 1st turn, 2 a French army can move in close to the city for support (which they somewhat did) and 3 UK gets some extra MPP from the start.

Give UK Monty and mine, oil and city from USA (Zapp's lend / lease) and IMHO you don't have to go into this bidding system which I myself really do not like.

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Blashy & Bill101

Agreed on both.

There's more credibility in Greece joining Britain and France from the outset than is the case with most other countries; it's trade was oriented toward Britain and, in the early stages, it's conceivable that Britain and France could have helped them out with weapons and other material goods.

If you choose to put either Greece or Yugoslavia into the Allied camp be sure to set Minor Allies on Historical, or they probably won't join the Axis. Unless you don't want them to follow their historical path, in which case Random might go some other way, but from what I've seen they just remain neutral; the same is true if you place Sweden, Spain or Turkey on either side.

It's plausible that Greece, in reaction to Italy's 1939 occupation of Albania, might have opted for British protection. It's mountainous north would have given it a more isolated nature than most other countries. The downside is, it then becomes possible for the UK to slip an HQ in before Italy enters and Albania could fall to a Greek invasion! Not too far fetched as there were Greek troops in the country even as Germany was driving on Athens!

I'm working on a scenario at present which is basically Hubert's 1939 Fall Weiss, but with USA and USSR are at 0%. Four U. S. and six Soviet Cities are colored UK, giving it 38 MPP per turn (4x5 USA + 6x3 USSR) till those countries are in the war. I think this is a good leveller as the UK is now able to build extra units quite easily and the Axis isn't cramped by the 30% Russian readiness. I've also given the UK 3 research chits, Germany 2 with France and Italy having one each. USA gets 2 extra and USSR gets one extra.

I know a lot of people believe in little or no research, but I my own preferance is to at least cover the minimum, which can be extremely hard for countries like the UK and Italy.

Regarding minor countries, no harm is done by doing things like starting Ireland and Portugal to the UK; I agree with the assumption that their trade was in Ireland's case entirely UK oriented and in Portugal's case primarily UK oriented.

Players need to balance these things out according to their individual tastes along with more or less Lend-Lease points. These ideas tend to help rather than hurt the basic 1939 scenario. Iraq can also be placed in the Allied camp, except doing so tends to swing things a bit far toward the UK after Russia's entry.

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John, do you mean that if I set the minors to historical then Greece will join the allies? I never knew that!

I've obviously been playing with everything set to random for far too long.

The Greeks did quite well against the Italians in Albania if I remember rightly.

I wonder how often in everyone's games are the Italians as inept as in real life? Not very often in my experience.

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Iraq can also be placed in the Allied camp, except doing so tends to swing things a bit far toward the UK after Russia's entry.
Actually, I think this is a superior method than taking neutral US/Russ centers and giving them to the UK (ie "lend-lease" concept).

Iraq belonging to the UK makes the Middle East strategically important to the UK. So it should not be abandonded lightly. And granted, once Russia enters the war, the Middle East starts to "grow" in MPP strength. But considering how many people believe the Allies (specifically US) are shorted in MPPs, especially in the end game, how is this any different from assuming the US has increased its "lend-leasing" MPPs to the UK?

Combined with a restriction on Axis invading certain neutrals, you've created a situation where, if the Axis don't put down Russia within a year or two of Russia entering the war, the Axis will never be able to do it.

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My remark was a bit misleading -- what I meant was if you activate either Greece or Yugoslavia for either side you should set Minor Allies on historical or they'll just remain neutral on Random. The same is true, to the best of my knowledge, if you activate Spain, Sweden or Turkey at the start, the Balkan States remain neutral -- at least that's what's happened in my games.

I've never seen Greece become activated for the Allies. I don't know if this could happen under special circumstances, but I've never seen it go one way or the other.

Ireland and Turkey do occasionally join either side, generally the Axis, but it's usually an extreme situation. I haven't seen it too often in my own games.

Anyway, the point is, if you want Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria to come in with the Axis but also want to activate other minor nations for the start of the game, you should set Minor Allies on Historical just to be safe.

Italy's Greek Invasion was completely botched by Mussolini's meddling. First he had the brainstorm of pulling half his troops out of Albania so the Greeks would be thrown off guard, then he waited till the wrong time of year to further decieve them. The deception worked, the Greeks didn't think he'd invade, he did, and they were right, it was a mistake! His troops were soon bogged down on the muddy mountainsides, their supplies unable to reach them, and the Greeks, dug in and well prepared, were able to turn the tables. The game situation doesn't properly reflect this as the Greek armies start off unsupplied!

To make the situation totally ludicrous, Hitler, when he heard of the invasion, was rightfully seething with anger as it had undone a Greek pact which was on the verge of being signed and was also to cost him Yugoslavia's cooperation.

Mussolini entered the room, bursting with pride, and proclaimed, "Fuhrer, we are on the march!" I don't know what Hitler's response was. :D


Yes, that's also my opinion on Iraqi UK activation. I've tried it neutral and as part of the Allies, and it works best when UK activated.

Giving Britain one U. S. Oil, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia along with Iraq seems to work out well. Also, the Minor Allies can be kept on Random as Iraq doesn't affect their entry.

[ November 28, 2003, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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I never thought of this, but you guys are absolutely right.

Iraq should be UK from the start, you've got UK Africa next to them and Russia, where do you think the oil went?

Greece for me is definitely Allied. They need time to Dig in. They were well prepared for the fight, just severly undermaned and lack of decent weaponery. They still put up a good fight.

Ireland Allied as well.

With those settings, I don't see the need for a bid. Although I still think it makes no sense that UK, USA and USSR have no generals from the start. UK & USA should have one and USSR 2. So give Uk Monty and 500 USA, 1000 USSR so they can buy Generasl, if they don't, well BAD move.

I'll give this a shot in my next game, I'll let you know.

I don't know about Portugal, I've not read enough on their status in WW2, had they cut ties with Spain when Franco came to power? If so then I would say their exports would have been Allied.

[ November 28, 2003, 05:46 PM: Message edited by: Blashy ]

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Within the current game system having Iraq start off as allied is a good way to balance things for an underdog Allied player.

Heres an idea;

In reality, Iraq should become an active pro-German minor ally, after Germany DOW Russia, without a corps and the UK should be allowed to invade Iraq without triggering a readiness penalty. If Germany wants to spend MPP to build corps in Iraq it should have the option to finance this, at a cost in MPPs. Historically Germany did not supply much support to Iraq when the UK and the Trans JOrdon Legion invaded as it was busy preparing for their invasion of Russia. Forcing Germany to spend MPPs to defend Iraq would recreate this trade-off amd eliminating the initial Iraqi corps makes it easy for the UK to take Iraq if Germany does not spend at least 125MPP to defend Baghdad. You might even want to say that units built in a German Allied Iraq unable to trace a supply line to Berlin, cost twice as much. So an Army would cost 450MPP and a Corps 250MPP.

Delaying the Pro-Axis Coup until after Germany is at war with Russia also makes the trade-off for Germany more interesting - do you spend MPPs to help the war effort in Russia or do you spend it to defend Iraq?

Naturally if Germany does not send aid to support Pro-German Iraq and the UK does not invade there is a chance that nationalist generals in Turkey will annex Iraq with the support of the Iraqi people, who saw their standard of living decline when Iraq was severed from the Ottoman Empire after WWI. Naturally the longer that the major powers wait to take action the more likely the Turkish government is to act.

So with no action by the UK or Germany to the Iraqi Coup the chance for Turkish action should be: Turn 1: 1%, Turn 2: 2%, Turn 3: 3%, Turn 4: 4% etc.

[ November 28, 2003, 07:33 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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The problem with the neutrals, is that some of them are pro Axis or pro Allied neutrals. But they are still neutral. SC doesn't have a way to acknowledge that fact.

Greece being dug in, yes, thats a valid point, but activating Greece to give them the time to dig in isn't the right approach.

With Ireland and Greece both being Allied from the start, Germany is at a disadvantage. With Ireland, Greece and Iraq, Germany will never be able to take France against a competent player. We've playtested the very thing you are thinking about, and for it to balance properly, Sweden should be Axis.

But once you do that, it swings back to the Axis favor, since the MPP benefit of Sweden/Norway (because they will rise to 112 MPPs total) far outweights the MPP benefit that the UK gets from Ireland, Greece and Iraq.

If you want to give the UK a HQ, I'd suggest Wavell. Monty came along much later. Russia doesn't need a HQ in the beginning, mainly because Russia should be fighting a defensive battle, and HQ's are not necessary for that. Once Russia is able to mount a counteroffensive, than the HQ's are necessary, which is one of the reasons SC doesn't give it to you (the time it takes for you to have enough spare MPPs to buy a HQ, is an abstract representation of the time it takes for Russia to be able to mount a strategic offensives).

Same with the US. Even after Hitler declared war on the US, the US was not in a position to mount any offensives in the European theater. Again, SC abstracts it by having you make the choices on if you purchase units or HQ, really trying to make you understand that even though you are in the war, ground wise, the US can be on the defensive, but not really take offensive actions.

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Edwin P

In SC terms, what should happen, is that there should be a pro-Axis coup in Iraq, just like there is one in Yugo. Difference here though, is that Iraq would turn Axis with no units. UK would have to divert a unit to take back Iraq.

UK would be able to take Iraq back with a weak unit, but the main thing is that the Iraq coup would divert a unit from doing something else. Germany (or Italy) would not be in a position to offer any support, other than a Air unit (no port if "limit" rules, UK control of seas in normal game).

That would represent exactly what happened. And its not a difficult thing to do, since the mechanisms already exist (ie Yugo "coup"), so there is no reason we shouldn't see it in SC II.

Its been awhile, and back when we had these discussions, it was about how to modify SC. Since thats a non-issue, later on, I'll create a new topic about a Diplomacy design that could be used in SC II.

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Edwin P. just posted something interesting in the Sweden neutrality thread regarding both Iraq and Turkey -- as a matter of fact, there have been a number of running posts there on the subjet that you'll probably find interesting.

Portugal had it's own dictator named Salazar and he also had Fascist inclinations. He balanced Britain and Germany in his international dealings and, like Spain and Turkey, accpted arms shipments from Hitler without actually joining the Axis. Unlike Spain, Portugal still had impressive colonial holdings in Africa.

In terms of trade, Portugal and Spain served as go betweens for Germany to receive goods which otherwise would have been impossible. Ford engines and truck parts, for example!

There are many complications along these lines involving neutral nations and the Third Reich; one of the reasons Germany didn't go rampaging through Iberia.

Churchill considered Portugal to be Britain's ancient and good friend, dating back to the Napoleonic Wars and Wellington. He tended to view things in a romantic way and no doubt that friendship was bolstered by Britain's still formidable control of the Atlantic.

Putting it's 5 MPPs with Britain is a good way of representing Spanish and Portuguese wartime trade with the UK.

It isn't too historically wrong to make Ireland, Portugal and Iraq UK Allies. It doesn't tip the balance and completely avoids the bid.

Most ladder players disliked having Ireland allied to Britain because it deprived them of DoW'ing on it and gaining experience for the Aircraft Carriers while picking up some plunder. Not a very valid reason, actually, it's historically ridiculous. :D

Ireland's leader at the time, DeValera, was personally anti-British and at times expressed pro-German views, but he was not a madman and had no intention of joining the Axis.

Nor was Britain about to invade the fledgling Irish Republic, despite it's refusal to assist British shipping coupled with minor pro-German activities, such as shining spotlights in the direction of British coastal towns to aid German pilots conducting night bombings.

Despite all that, Irish trade had only limited choices, the UK and Canada and the United States. So tossing those 5 MPPs into the UK chest is a good idea.

I think the three nations combine for an extra 25 MPPs a turn prior to the Soviet entry. Adding two American cities, say Boston and Philadelphia to represent Lend Lease, puts a little life into the UK with an extra 35 MPPs per turn.

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Shaka and Edwin

Your postings were added while I wrote the above entry.

Solid points all around, most of which, as Shaka says, are really impossible to properly express in SC game terms.

Agreed about Sweden and the Axis economy, but Shaka is exactly right when he says it throws things out of whack -- again!

What I've been experimenting with is activating Iraq, Ireland and Portugal as UK from the start, along with two US cities Lend Lease, and giving Germany a couple of added units in compensation: Leeb HQ on the Rhince (historically accurate) and creating Luftflotte III north of Konigsberg to help reflect German air dominance early in the war. So far these ideas have panned out pretty well against the AI but a human player might throw it all out of whack with the early Danish and LC invasions before defeating Poland -- extremely doubtful tactics in real life.

"Its been awhile, and back when we had these discussions, it was about how to modify SC. Since thats a non-issue, later on, I'll create a new topic about a Diplomacy design that could be used in SC II."


Those were some of the best threads this Forum ever had. Looking forward to your most recent ideas on the subject.

[ November 28, 2003, 09:19 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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