The Axis always move first, whatever the BRP (Basic Resource Point) total, so there are no longer any double turns; the opening Japanese double-turn is replaced by Allied paralysis in the following player-turn.
Forest has been added to the map in Scandinavia and parts of northern Russia, making the area between Leningrad (now a swamp instead of a printed fortress) and Moscow easier to defend. The river Elbe has been added to Germany, whilst the Rhine has been shifted one hex east so that the map can depict the Rhineland, containing Cologne and Mannheim.
Any supplied unit, including replacements, may now move one hex per turn, regardless of zones of control, weather, terrain or oil status; all replacements begin the game on the map. Rough terrain (but not rivers) costs an extra movement point. Armoured exploitation from rough terrain is reduced by 1 in Europe and forbidden in the Pacific (except for the Japanese, who may exploit out of jungle).
Winter effects now apply on all fronts. In the West, including western Poland, winter overruns and exploitation are forbidden (similar to Spring on the Eastern Front), so a German attack in the West in Winter 1939 probably won’t get any further than the Low Countries. The Mediterranean has a mild winter, in which exploitation is reduced by 4 (to a minimum of 1); this does not apply at all in Mediterranean islands or in Africa, but effectively prevents a quick German conquest of Spain & Gibraltar in Winter 1940. The severity of the Russian Winter is decided by die roll as before - in the Second Edition Germany may make some limited attacks in milder Russian Winters, but in winter turns Russia may select the hexes from which Germany must take her attrition losses, putting key units at risk.
The game now distinguishes between fortifications (+1 DM to land and air defence) built in jungle, city or coastal hexes, and fortresses printed on the map (+2 DM except for the WestWall). If unsupplied (Malta may be “besieged” by Axis air units) they degrade by 1 DM per turn, but units in a fort are never eliminated due to isolation and always defend at a minimum of face value. Coastal fortresses may no longer be bombarded by naval units.
There are some new combat results: “a” (attacker loses half the modified value of the defending units), “d” (defender loses half their factors, ignoring DMs), “Ex-1” (defenders all eliminated, attacker loses strength equal to that of the defence with DM one less than what they actually had – if this gives a value of zero, the value of the defensive air support) and “Ex-2” (as for the previous, but with DM reduced by two).
Germany and Japan start with CTL (Combat Training Level) 2, the Allies and Russians start with CTL1, and minor countries CTL0. CTL 2 allows an attack to be renewed for a second round (with a +1 DRM); CTL 3, if obtained by research, would allow a third round. Armour needs CTL1 to exploit half its movement allowance, and CTL2 to exploit fully, whilst paratroops and commandos need CTL2 for use – making the higher CTL an advantage for the Germans in the early years. Another bonus for the Germans is than an "Ex" result from overrun and exploitation against Poland and in her first two offensives in the west (no later than Summer 1940) is treated as a "Ex-1".
For attrition the relative CTL is used as a DRM (i.e. Germany has a +1 advantage at the start - units may be omitted to raise the CTL), as is the difference in the level of Winter Preparation in winter turns. The ban on taking rough hexes or across rivers now applies in Europe as well as the Pacific. Units behind a fortress hexside may not be attritioned. Separate supply zones are attritioned separately. No nation may lose more units to attrition than she had at the relevant front (i.e. a faction may not take many losses from units held in reserve despite that country only having a few units at the front). Partisans no longer take part in attrition.
Air (and naval) factors are uninverted ready for use at the end of each player-turn, not game turn (except newly built air factors redeployed on the turn they are built), making it easier to use air factors to defend key hexes just captured. Airbases may not be moved other than by recycling (removing an old one and placing a new one, once during movement and once during construction/redeployment for Germany and the USA, other countries limited to once per turn). Countries may obtain more airbases by production.
Air combat has a new table, similar to the naval combat table: each side simultaneously rolls two dice, killing or aborting enemy factors, with multiple combat rounds possible - the attacker may be reinforced between rounds. Air units now defend against counterair even if inverted. The defender may break off air combat after any round by evacuating to another base (and inverting there). Defenders aborted in the final round are inverted, whoever won. Victorious defenders are not inverted after counterair, and may conduct defensive missions later that player turn. Friendly air factors may “escort” Defensive Air Support against interception.
Air transport factors, as well as being used for airdrops or air supply (each may carry limited supply for one unit), can carry 1 infantry factor or a specialised unit, or 5 BRPs "over the Hump" to China (in the latter case, only one ATF may fly from and to each airbase). They do not fight back if intercepted, but may be defended by friendly air units in range. Paratroops are now reduced to division-sized units worth 1 combat factor, and can move before dropping. Defenders have +1 DM if solely attacked by paratroops, and paratroops are no longer automatically supplied after dropping.
Kamikazes no longer defend against enemy aircraft; they are no longer doubled to attack ships, but instead attack with +4 DRM. Kamikazes pick targets at random (carriers, then battleships, in order of size and slowness, then light ships as a group, damaged ships first in every category) in the same way as submarines; they combine their attack if more than one selects the same target.
Jets - only available after a high research result - fight at triple strength and have a +1 modifier in combat.
For activities at sea each Army Air Factor splits into search, cover and attack squadrons. Only 1/3, not ½, of a naval force’s Air Squadrons may fly CAP. In combat involving CAP or air cover, the smaller side (usually the defender) engages an equal number of the enemy. Air attacks on ports are rationalised whether from sea or land – defending air factors fight even if they were not attacked. Naval Air Squadrons on carriers in port may be counteraired. Escort Carriers count for triple for air defence.
Ports now base 50 naval factors (not 36). 10 naval factors (not 9) based in a hex prevent it from being invaded. Base changing and offensive missions have a maximum range of 40 hexes in Europe (20 in the Pacific because of the larger scale); most missions must touch on a friendly port every 20 hexes in Europe (10 in the Pacific); 1-hex islands can no longer base naval factors (although they can still base 1 NAS) or be used to measure range.
Patrols, besides taking out any enemy air within range of the patrol hex, may counterair any enemy air on their way there. Friendly units on patrol may not counter-intercept but may move up to three hexes towards the interception hex before each round of combat.
Generic naval factors have been replaced by "destroyers" (DDs) – single factors, representing any ship smaller than a cruiser. Fewer factors are now needed - 1 DD to transport a ground factor, 2 for an opposed invasion. The number of DDs determines how strong an invasion a country can threaten; in the second edition defensive air support is tripled against invasions - making invasions beyond air support unfeasible. Destroyers can also carry BRPs, or oil. Cruisers (2-factor counters, presumably representing a single heavy or pair of light cruisers) are used only for combat, sharing the losses with the destroyers. The game includes named battleships, rated between 5 (Yamato, Musashi, USS Missouri), and 2 (Graf Spee).
Naval units may now be intercepted after completing their mission. Interception is determined depending on the activity which is being intercepted, e.g. extra dice are rolled to intercept invasions (especially in the invasion hex) or patrols remaining on station (of which interception is no longer quite automatic). Spotting air factors add extra dice. Whatever the result of the dice roll (halved in the Pacific), the interceptors move that many hexes towards the target and if necessary can roll again, a single die after each round of naval combat. Slow ships, e.g. older battleships (marked with an orange stripe) and escort carriers, roll one fewer interception die.
Air attack and naval gunfire have been consolidated onto a single table, with two air squadrons more lethal than a normal-sized battleship. In a simplification from “Empire of the Rising Sun”, a hit result greater than or equal to the number of a ship’s factors sinks it, a result one less damages it, whilst any lesser result is disregarded. Large ships are hard to sink but may suffer critical hits.
In naval combat, each separate taskforce forms a combat group - taskforces do not split up. Defending CAP is no longer added to a fleet’s air defence level, nor do aircraft carriers make separate defence rolls. Each side rolls one search die for each searching air squadron (up to three, even if all based in the same base), each friendly combat group and each round of fleet combat which has occurred. Each search die rolled “finds” the enemy combat group, if any, to whose number it corresponds (i.e. a roll of “3” finds enemy Combat Group 3). A combat group must be “found” at least once in order to be attacked; if “found” by two or more dice information about its composition must be revealed. Groups which were not found may launch airstrikes – rolling for surprise if they consist entirely of fast ships - at any found enemy group. Surprise is more likely the more search dice the enemy group has been found by, and less likely the more airstrikes it has already suffered, and if it has radar. Once the hidden groups have finished their airstrikes, found combat groups may each launch airstrikes at any found enemy combat group, the side with the more search results first. Land-based air then attack; land-based air and CAP may defend even if they have already fought that round.
After the first airstrike, a found combat group must engage in fleet combat with the enemy combat group with the same number, if that too has been found. Hidden groups, provided they did not launch a surprise airstrike, may engage any found enemy combat group, although a hidden group containing slow ships may only engage the enemy combat group with the same number, if found. Battleships face off in order of size, so the side with more battleships may fire at light ships before they have a chance to retaliate. Escort carriers are treated as destroyers in fleet combat, their combat factor representing emergency airstrikes. Fast carriers, transports, damaged ships and DD carrying cargo are screened, and may not be fired upon until all other naval units in their group are sunk.
Neither side may withdraw until at least one airstrike or round of fleet combat has occurred, although withdrawal is compulsory after three rounds of combat without a naval unit being damaged or sunk.
The 10% annual limit on SW construction has gone; countries now have force pools for SW, which are built each turn like any other unit, and SW units are larger. All available factors, not just 25% of them, may be used each turn. Strategic bombers require a high research result, but Britain and the USA qualify from the start. Army Air Factors may no longer convert into interceptors, which may only enter the game via production.
Submarines (but not ASW - anti-submarine warfare ships) may operate on the map. Italian and British submarines may not be used for SW; Germany may send 1 submarine factor per turn to the Mediterranean, or more if she controls Gibraltar; Japan and the USA are limited as to the number of submarines (increasing throughout the war) they may use for SW. Onboard submarines may operate from ports, may patrol, or may accompany naval units, although they roll 2 fewer interception dice than surface ships. Submarines may attack light ships or a named ship, in which case each submarine factor picks a target at random, being most likely to pick a fast carrier, then a battleship, biggest then slowest first, and damaged ships first in every case.
Strategic Warfare combat is resolved by simultaneous die roll, and the net modifier is applied to each side (in opposite directions). Britain must now trace a convoy route, which may be attacked, from the USA to Britain on the European map. Submarines no longer reduce enemy BRPs, but instead sink Allied and Japanese transports - counters which represent ocean-going shipping. After combat with ASW, each surviving submarine then inflicts a further loss of 1 transport, increased or reduced by the net SW modifier; even if no attacking submarines survive combat, a fraction of the net SW modifier still inflicts loss on the defenders. Although most naval units may no longer directly participate in submarine warfare, Allied (not Japanese) destroyers may permanently convert to ASW or transports. Loss of transports to surface raiders and submarines, besides the cost of rebuilding them, inflicts a BRP penalty for falling below minimum transport levels in the relevant ocean box, and reduces a country’s ability to move units and oil through mapboard boxes (only some of the transports in the relevant ocean may carry oil).
Bombers must bomb a specific target on the map. Interceptors, jets and air factors in range may escort bombers to share the combat losses. First, defending air factors within range, using radar if they have it, attack at least an equal number of attackers. Then, simultaneously, the target hex fires in defence and bombers roll to inflict BRP losses on the target hex. After combat, each surviving bomber then inflicts a further loss of 3 BRPs, increased or reduced by the net SW modifier; even if no attacking bombers survive combat, a fraction of the net SW modifier still inflicts loss on the defenders. 25 BRPs bombing damage on a hex creates a firestorm, which gains a DP for the attacker and, if inflicted on Japan, increases the chance of the defender surrendering.
Only China is limited to spending half her BRPs per turn. Other major powers have a Unit Construction Limit (UCL) of 1/3 of their base; Russian Industrial Centres count as base for this, giving the Russians a huge UCL, whereas BRPs from conquests do not directly increase Germany’s UCL. A third of BRP grants each turn are added to the UCL of the recipient country and deducted from the grantor's. The relevant UCL is reduced for BRPs lost to Axis attritioning of the Australia, India or Urals box, or to bombing, flying bomb (V1) or rocket (V2) attacks, or to British (not US or Japanese) transport losses below required levels.
Units which were eliminated voluntarily or due to isolation (such units may now take a free offensive before removal) may be rebuilt in the same turn for double BRP cost. Specialised units (e.g. paratroops) may be rebuilt after a 1–turn delay. Germany loses 5 BRPs from her UCL if ore shipments from Sweden are cut off.
Naval Air Training Rates are higher as newly built as well as rebuilt Naval Air Squadrons count against NAT limits. British and US CVE-building are limited by, but do not count against the limit (i.e. the USA may use her NAT of 4 to build 4 NAS and 4 CVE factors each turn).
Scripted force pool additions have been replaced by "mobilisations". When a major power conducts a mobilisation, it receives BRPs and also chooses units up to a certain BRP value to add to its forcepool (some types of unit, e.g. armour, take a year or two to appear). Britain and Italy each mobilise once, early in the game. Other powers mobilise several times, before and after they enter the war: Japan mobilises four times, Russia five, whilst the USA mobilises twelve times in each theatre. Countries may also augment their forcepools by spending research points on "production". These additions to the forcepool are a distinct process from spending the BRPs to bring units from the forcepool onto the map. There is no production or mobilisation of naval units, of which construction is limited only by shipyard capacity (which may itself be increased by either mobilisation or production).
Each shipyard is tracked separately. Each generates shipbuilding points (SBP) each turn, needed to build or repair a naval factor on top of the BRP cost. For each SBP generated in a port each turn, an equal number of naval factors may be stored “under construction”. A named ship may be delayed (perhaps indefinitely as Britain did with the Lion class battleships) to use SBP on light ships instead, or scrapped altogether to free up capacity. Only half, rounded up, of US (and, in the Second Edition, British) SBP, tracked separately for each theatre, may be spent on light ships. Big ships take several years to build, but may be accelerated by paying extra. Before she goes to war the USA may lay down one fast carrier for each one carrier under construction which is launched, or each new one laid down by Japan (or Germany, who begins the game with the Graf Zeppelin under construction).
National limits on Strategic Redeployment (SR) have gone – instead each country may send and receive 2 units and 5 AAF each turn from each objective it controls. Major powers (but not France or China) may build one railhead per turn on a non-objective city to use it as a base for SR; the railhead may not be moved or destroyed, and may be used by the enemy if captured. Before SR any supplied air or ground unit not adjacent to an enemy may tactically redeploy (TR) up to its movement capability (reduced by terrain and weather) irrespective of front boundaries, and those which SRd may TR a second time afterwards. This gives players much more flexibility, whilst limiting SRs to remote parts of the map.
Moscow is no longer a supply source - Russian units must trace supply to the Urals box - nor are Basra, Suez, Truk, Brunei or Palembang. Synthetic oil plants give unlimited supply, as does Berchtesgaden if the National Redoubt has been created. Major power objective hexes and conquered major capitals now give limited supply.
A sea supply line must touch on a friendly port every 20 hexes (10 in the Pacific), and can be defended by naval units in the originating port, in any port on which it touches, or in any SW box through which it is traced (specific naval units in the SW box must be earmarked to defend specific supply lines). Other naval units can't defend the supply line, but may counter-intercept attempts to cut it. Air cover may also be given.
Besides those in Rumania and the Dutch East Indies, oil centres – each with a printed number, showing how many oil counters they produce each turn - have been added in the USA (unlimited), Iraq, Iran and the Caucasus. Each faction (Allies, Russians, Germans and Japanese) must expend one oil counter to offset each of the five oil effects: full use of air, naval, or armour units, UCL halved except for BRP grants received from another power, and economic (10% of the base permanently lost). A faction thus needs at least 5 oil counters each turn to operate at full capacity, and another 3 for each separate supply zone – the Allies need to transport oil from the USA. Major powers may keep off-map oil reserves, which they may increase by voluntarily taking oil effects.
There are more Key Economic Areas. Germany’s entire starting base of 150 BRPs consists of KEAs (50 of them in Berlin), so Germany can no longer continue after losing all her major cities.
Most countries now start Fall 1939 with less than a full year’s supply of BRPs. A country’s economic base may now grow in the 1940 Year Start Sequence, although the value of unbuilt ground and air units is deducted from surviving BRPs before the remainder may grow. Strategic Warfare losses no longer reduce a country’s base, but deficit spending (which may not exceed the UCL or BRP base, and is not allowed for France, Italy or China) does. The total of all BRP gains and losses at the end of the diplomacy phase, and of losses at the end of the combat phase (including Russian ICs), is pro-rated: 75% in summer, 50% in fall, 25% in winter. If a minor country is conquered, the conqueror gains the prorated BRPs in their next diplomatic phase. In the construction phase a power may "scorch" the prorated BRPs of a conquest, leaving it worth 0 BRPs until the next YSS. The BRP value of many conquered territories has now been reduced.
Permitted US pre-war BRP grants to Britain increase with US-Axis tensions. The Allies may send oil and up to 50 BRPs per turn to Russia: 20 BRPs via Murmansk (5 BRPs after the first full Axis offensive against Russia and rising each turn thereafter; Murmansk naval combat has been simplified), 10 BRPs via an Allied-controlled Turkey, 10 BRPs via Persia, and 10 BRPs via Alaska (halved if Japan is at war with Russia or controls Vladivostok or Dutch Harbor). The Persian and Alaskan routes each need 25 BRPs to open.
Variants are gone altogether. All major powers except China receive Research Points (RPs) each year (including 1939) - both a basic allowance and extra for their BRP total and growth.
Each faction (the European Axis going first then Allies, Russians and Japanese), may roll for one project in each category (air, naval, land, intelligence or atomic) each turn, provided it contains at least one friendly RP; as RPs expire with use, this means that a faction cannot roll twice for the same project in a single year. Research projects are rolled for by code-name; to increase the chances of steady research progress rather than a wildly lucky or unlucky result, the middle of three die rolls is taken, whilst in the Second Edition, under certain circumstances a poor result may be increased by reallocating unused RPs from another project in the same category. A player may also conduct "General Research" in a category, which may generate a positive modifier for all projects in that category. No more than half of a faction’s Research Points (RPs) may be put in a single category each year, and no more than 3 RPs (increased by 1 for each general research breakthrough in that category) in a single project.
Some results prevent further research in that area, whilst others generate a modifier for future research. Some must be announced to be effective (so atomic rockets or super-subs cannot be unleashed entirely without warning) and are normally implemented immediately, although some projects generate results which must be implemented a turn at a time (e.g. V1 flying bombs, then V2 rockets – the bases for these are secret installations, which may not be bombed or destroyed until revealed by espionage). In order to prevent the game being skewed by a wild result to the Battle of the Atlantic, there are restrictions on the numbers of RPs which may be placed in ASW, torpedo and submarine research early in the war, whilst players are also restricted as to how quickly they may begin atomic research.
Research categories include CTL, winter preparation, German occupation policies in the Ukraine, heavy armour, the German National Redoubt in Berchtesgaden, torpedoes, submarines, harbour attacks, air DRM, air range (which affects submarine warfare), radar, bombers, synthetic oil, rockets and jets. Germany starts with a research advantage in jets and rockets, Japan in torpedoes, and the Allies in air range, strategic bombers and radar.
Intelligence Research includes communist subversion of Balkan countries, which may cause a German reaction roll for the other potential targets. Pro-Axis Russian, Chinese and Indian units may be obtained by research but may not be rebuilt if lost (Indians may also be added for control of Indian and Burmese objectives). Moslem unrest may allow Germany to build partisans in Egypt (Wafdists) or the Middle East. Allied and Russian research may increase their partisan force pool for a region, up to the limit in the Minor Country force pool (Russia may build 2 partisans per turn, including in Eastern Poland, 1 of them for free).
Espionage allows each faction to place one spy ring in each research area for each enemy faction, where it reveals information about research projects and secret installations. A spy ring in a minor country reveals all enemy Diplomacy Points (DPs). Spy rings may be eliminated by an opposing spy ring. Germany, Britain and Russia (only) may conduct covert operations against a diplomatic target (so a faction should spread its DPs thinly to allow some presence in key countries) - to negate but not eliminate enemy DPs. Research may also negate an enemy covert operation, or reduce the effect of a harbour attack.
Britain and Germany (Ultra) and the USA and Japan (Magic) each have 8 codebreaking cards, and may get more by research. Each draws 4 cards per turn – a Magic draw also happens after war breaks out between the USA and Japan. Cards may give an advantage to: submarines, ASW, fleet combat, naval interception. Some are wild cards (US Magic only – may be used as any other) or blank. Some cards may be negated by the enemy playing an opposite one (ASW after submarines), or a similar one (fleet combat or naval interception).
Only Germany, the USA and Russia may research the atomic bomb, and this takes several stages, including controlled reaction and either plutonium production or uranium separation. Success creates a bomb 2-6 turns later, and another every 2 turns thereafter. An atomic bomb may be delivered by bomber, or by rocket or by a German submarine (for either of which a very high research result is needed). An atomic attack on an objective does at least 25 BRPs damage; under some circumstances tactical attacks, where the bomb is deemed to be used on the ground in a battle, may also be made.
Production (increasing a country’s forcepool by RPs) involves no luck, but the cost rises incrementally if several increments of the same thing are produced at once, reduced for each general research breakthrough in that area. Later in the game, as breakthroughs accumulate, force pool additions by production get larger. By late in the game, the Western Allies may have 25-30 RPs per year, enabling them to develop the atomic bomb, as well as increase their air DRM (which is affected by a favourable radar research result, giving the Allies a further advantage) and CTL and produce huge fleets of strategic bombers.
Diplomacy takes place in 1939 as well as in subsequent years. The USA receives extra DPs as US-Axis Tensions rise. Each country may allocate 1/3 (rounded up) of its DPs to a single target. Allies, European Axis and Russians (there is no diplomacy in the Pacific) may roll for a single country each turn, provided a friendly DP has been placed in it (a country can normally be named only once in a year) – in addition to activating one DP in US-Axis Tensions each turn (DPs may not be placed in Russo-German Tensions), and making reaction rolls for Norway, Spain (the Germans get a favourable modifier if the Allies attack Portugal), Vichy France and Balkan countries as appropriate. Russia may only allocate DPs to Balkan and other neighbouring countries.
A small random element has been added to US-Axis Tensions and US-Japanese Tensions (but not Russo-German Tensions) so it is harder to keep the USA neutral by “gaming” the table. Germany may declare war on the USA, as in reality, for free, gaining a two-turn “happy time” for her U-boats. Japan may declare war on the USA for free, but if so must pay to declare war on Britain (if she declares war on Britain alone this sharply accelerates USJT and US mobilisation). The USA may declare war on Japan for free, if allowed by US-Japanese Tensions - this puts Britain at war with Japan as well.
The minor country diplomatic tables have been standardised, with high numbers for pro-Axis results. Favourable results may gain the relevant major power BRPs, hex control (a limited number of the major power’s units may trace supply through and remain in the minor country), association (which also results from an attack by an enemy major power), or full activation as a minor ally. The controlling major power may now only rebuild 1 armour unit and 1 AAF each turn; minor allies and associated minors may rebuild a single infantry unit of up to 2 factors each turn for free, so the Rumanian army is harder to rebuild if lost in Russia. Minor countries may still switch sides by diplomatic roll, as Rumania did in 1944.
Iraqi and Persian forces (like those of Egypt) now consist of partisans rather than infantry, easing Britain's Middle Eastern defence burden somewhat.
Anybody may declare war on Belgium and Luxembourg, or Denmark and Norway, as single entities. Denmark no longer has any units, and is deemed to have surrendered at the start of the turn on which she is attacked, so the attacker (i.e. Germany) may place an airbase on her soil. Iron ore shipments from Sweden to Germany are disrupted if Sweden becomes anti-German, and are shipped via Norway in winter and spring (because of ice in the Baltic Sea) so are disrupted if the Allies control Bergen, or mine Norwegian waters - if done against Norway’s will this reduces US-Axis Tensions (i.e. making the USA less likely to join the Allies), increases future Norwegian rolls by 1, and allows Germany a reaction die roll. This disruption ends if Germany gains diplomatic or military control of Norway. Norway is also important for German atomic research. Finland may be a German diplomatic target at any time, even if no DPs have been placed there.
Several small scenarios are provided: North Africa, the Battle of the Atlantic & Barbarossa in Europe; in the Pacific Coral Sea, Midway and Leyte are as before, although Pearl Harbor has gone. Further Pacific scenarios (Guadalcanal, Singapore, Imphal & Cartwheel) are available on the game’s website, as is a 1941 scenario and scenarios for the Eastern Front after 1942, and the Spanish Civil War. Europe or the Pacific may be played separately (Allied BRPs are assumed to be infinite in Pacific-only scenarios) or linked to form Global War; any of these may be played with the historical countermix or with research and production. The scenarios starting in 1940, 1942 and 1944 have been dropped.