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Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules

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1 Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:55 pm

I found a website that sells additional Axis and Allies game pieces so I purchased a few and will be trying out some optional rules.  Let me know what you think.


Axis and Allies
House Rules – Rev Jan 16, 2018
Optional Units

Heavy Tanks Cost – 8 IPC Attack 3 Defense 4 Move 1
Can only be constructed at a Major Industrial Complex. Each nation may only have a maximum of four heavy tanks at any one time. Take two hits before being destroyed. Damaged Heavy Tanks can be tilted sideways to indicate their damaged status. Heavy Tanks repair themselves during the owning player’s repair unit’s phase as long as the owning player still controls their capital. Can be transported by themselves on a transport ship, no other unit (except a truck – see truck below) may ride with them. Can be paired with a Tactical Bomber on the attack using combined arms just like a medium tank.

Light Tanks Cost – 5 IPC Attack 3 Defense 2 Move 2
Just like a medium tank but with less defense and one IPC less expensive. Can blitz like a medium tank and can be paired with a mechanized infantry or an assault gun. Can be paired with a tactical bomber on the attack to enhance the bomber just like a medium tank.

Assault Guns Cost – 5 IPC Attack 2 Defense 3 Move 2
Just like artillery, but with better movement and better defense. Can be paired with an infantry unit or mechanized infantry and enhance the infantry’s attack value by one. Assault Guns may not blitz on their own, but may blitz if paired with a light or medium tank. Can be paired with a tactical bomber on the attack to enhance the bomber, but if used in this way, it cannot also enhance the attack value of an infantry unit in that combat round.

Trucks Cost – 2 IPC Attack 0 Defense 0 Move 2
Each truck can transport two land units; one (or two) infantry, special force’s unit, AA, or artillery. If a truck is transporting two units, one unit must be a regular infantry. Only units that have not moved yet during the player’s turn may be picked up. Transported units may not move using their own movement in a turn where they are transported by a truck. Similar to an AA unit, Trucks may prevent enemy armor from blitzing. In combat, similar to transport ships, trucks are the last land units to be taken as casualties by their owner. Trucks cannot blitz, and trucks cannot capture enemy territories unless the truck moved into the enemy land territory at the start of the attacking player’s combat movement phase, transporting a friendly land unit that has an attack value (e.g. if a truck transports an infantry into a territory with one enemy infantry and both infantry eliminate each other in the same round and only the truck remains, the attacking player captures the territory). Trucks may not transport other trucks. Each transport ship may transport one truck in addition to the transport ship’s normal load.

Special Forces Cost – 5 IPC Attack 2 Defense 2 Move 1 (3 under certain conditions*)
Each nation may only have a maximum of four Special Force’s units at any one time. These are elite infantry that can also be transported on cruiser. A cruiser may only transport one special force’s unit at a time. If a cruiser drops off Special Forces in the combat phase, the cruiser may not conduct shore bombardment during that same turn. A transport may carry only one special force’s unit at a time in addition to one regular infantry unit. Any number of special force’s units can be in any given sea zone at a time, but each nation may only have one special force’s unit in any given land territory at a time. If paired on the attack with an artillery, assault gun or tactical bomber, Special Forces can have their attack value enhanced using combined arms. If an artillery, assault gun or tactical bomber enhances a Special Forces unit, they may not be paired with other units during that attack round.

These units are also airborne trained. If the unit starts its turn from any friendly airbase, they may move up to three spaces during combat movement, including flying over any intervening space just like an aircraft, and land in the third space and conduct combat. If there is an AA unit in the defending territory, before the Special Forces land, the AA unit receives a defensive die roll (hitting on a 1) to attempt to shoot down the attacking Special Forces before they land. If an AA units shoots at a Special Forces unit, the shot attempt counts as one of the AA unit’s three potential shots for that round. Special Forces may not start their turn on an airbase and move (fly) three spaces in non-combat movement. Except for the foregoing, they are treated as regular infantry units.



Last edited by Teramotos on Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:57 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Rev'ed up to 16 Jan 2018)

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2 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:43 pm

...made some updates...

Heavy Tanks Cost – 8 IPC Attack 3 Defense 4 Move 1
Can only be constructed at a Major Industrial Complex. Each nation may only have a maximum of four undamaged heavy tanks at any one time. Take two hits before being destroyed. Damaged Heavy Tanks can be tilted sideways to indicate their damaged status. Heavy Tanks repair themselves during the owning player’s repair unit’s phase. Can be transported similar to medium tanks on transport ships.

Light Tanks Cost – 5 IPC Attack 3 Defense 2 Move 2
Just like a medium tank but with less defense and one IPC less expensive.

Assault Guns Cost – 5 IPC Attack 2 Defense 2 Move 2
Just like artillery, but with better movement. Like artillery, they can be paired with an infantry unit and enhance the infantry’s attack value by one. Assault Guns may not blitz on their own, but may blitz if paired with a tank. Each tank may support both a mechanized infantry and an assault gun when blitzing.


Trucks Cost – 2 IPC Attack 0 Defense 0 Move 2
Each truck can transport one infantry, special force’s unit, AA, or artillery. Only units that have not moved yet during the player’s turn may be picked up. Transported units may not move using their own movement in a turn where they are transported. Similar to an AA unit, Trucks may prevent enemy armor from blitzing. In combat, trucks are the last land units, even after AA units, to be counted as casualties by their owner. Trucks that are transporting a non-AA unit may blitz if there is at least a tank AND a mechanized infantry unit for each truck borne unit taking part in the blitzing attack. A given tank and mechanized unit may not support the blitzing of more than one truck.


Special Forces Cost – 5 IPC Attack 2 Defense 2 Move 1
Each nation may only have a maximum of four Special Force’s units at any one time. These are elite infantry that can also be transported on cruiser. A cruiser may only transport one special force’s unit at a time. If a cruiser drops off Special Forces in the combat phase, the cruiser may not conduct shore bombardment during that same turn. A transport may carry only one special force’s unit at a time in addition to one regular infantry unit. A player may have up to four special force’s units in any given sea zone at the same time, but a player may only have one special force’s unit in any given land territory at a time. Special Forces can have their attack value enhanced by either artillery, or a tactical bomber if those units are also involved in the attack. If an artillery or tactical bomber enhances a Special Forces unit, they may not enhance other units that turn.

These units are also airborne trained. If the unit starts its turn from any friendly airbase, they may move up to three spaces during combat movement, including flying over any intervening space just like an aircraft, and land in the third space and conduct combat. If there is an AA unit in the defending territory, before the Special Forces land, the AA unit receives a defensive die roll (hitting on a 1) to attempt to shoot down the attacking Special Forces before they land. If an AA units shoots at a Special Forces unit, the shot attempt counts as one of the AA unit’s three potential shots for that round. Special Forces may not start their turn on an airbase and move (fly) three spaces in non-combat movement. Except for the foregoing, they are treated as regular infantry units.

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3 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:43 am

Kenji and I did some play testing over the weekend. As such, we made some revisions...

Axis and Allies
House Rules – Rev Sept 17, 2017
Optional Units



Heavy Tanks Cost – 8 IPC Attack 3 Defense 4 Move 1
Can only be constructed at a Major Industrial Complex. Each nation may only have a maximum of four undamaged heavy tanks at any one time. Take two hits before being destroyed. Damaged Heavy Tanks can be tilted sideways to indicate their damaged status. Heavy Tanks repair themselves during the owning player’s repair unit’s phase. Can be transported similar to medium tanks on transport ships. Can be paired with a Tactical Bomber on the attack using combined arms just like a medium tank.

Light Tanks Cost – 5 IPC Attack 3 Defense 2 Move 2
Just like a medium tank but with less defense and one IPC less expensive. Can blitz like a medium tank but are not powerful enough to support the blitzing of a mechanized infantry or truck borne unit. Can support the blitzing of an assault gun. Can be paired with a tactical bomber on the attack to enhance the bomber just like a medium tank.

Assault Guns Cost – 5 IPC Attack 2 Defense 3 Move 2
Just like artillery, but with better movement. Like artillery, they can be paired with an infantry unit and enhance the infantry’s attack value by one. Assault Guns may not blitz on their own, but may blitz if paired with a light or medium tank. Can also be paired with a tactical bomber on the attack to enhance the bomber, but if used in this way, it cannot enhance an infantry unit.

Trucks Cost – 2 IPC Attack 0 Defense 0 Move 2
Each truck can transport one infantry, special force’s unit, AA, or artillery. Only units that have not moved yet during the player’s turn may be picked up. Transported units may not move using their own movement in a turn where they are transported. Similar to an AA unit, Trucks may prevent enemy armor from blitzing. In combat, trucks are the last land units, even after AA units, to be counted as casualties by their owner. Trucks that are transporting a non-AA unit may blitz if they are paired with a medium tank.


Special Forces Cost – 5 IPC Attack 2 Defense 2 Move 1
Each nation may only have a maximum of four Special Force’s units at any one time. These are elite infantry that can also be transported on cruiser. A cruiser may only transport one special force’s unit at a time. If a cruiser drops off Special Forces in the combat phase, the cruiser may not conduct shore bombardment during that same turn. A transport may carry only one special force’s unit at a time in addition to one regular infantry unit. Any number of special force’s units can be in any given sea zone at a time, but each nation may only have one special force’s unit in any given land territory at a time. If paired on the attack with an artillery, assault gun or tactical bomber, Special Forces can have their attack value enhanced using combined arms. If an artillery, assault gun or tactical bomber enhances a Special Forces unit, they may not be paired with other units during that attack round.

These units are also airborne trained. If the unit starts its turn from any friendly airbase, they may move up to three spaces during combat movement, including flying over any intervening space just like an aircraft, and land in the third space and conduct combat. If there is an AA unit in the defending territory, before the Special Forces land, the AA unit receives a defensive die roll (hitting on a 1) to attempt to shoot down the attacking Special Forces before they land. If an AA units shoots at a Special Forces unit, the shot attempt counts as one of the AA unit’s three potential shots for that round. Special Forces may not start their turn on an airbase and move (fly) three spaces in non-combat movement. Except for the foregoing, they are treated as regular infantry units.

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4 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:36 pm

I feel like the trucks either need to have one more movement or be allowed to carry two infantry units.

What happens if you have four damaged heavy tanks? and then build one more? Do you lose one or does it not repair?

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5 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:27 am

Hmmm...yep, trucks seem to be a little weak. I'll think about what can be done...

Hvy Tanks...I think the repair units and facilities phase comes before the purchase units phase. So, if at the start of your turn, you have four damaged hvy tanks they will all be full strength at the start of the purchase units phase.

If you purchase say, two additional hvy tanks in the purchase units phase, then during your turn, you make some attacks that involve your hvy tanks and to your surprise you roll really well and none of your four existing heavies have to take a hit. At the end of the turn when you mobilize new units, you have two new heavy tanks but that would cause you to exceed the four undamaged tank limit. Thus, the player has made an illegal buy and per the existing rules, the IPCs related to those units go back to the player's bank, to be used next turn and the illegal units go back to the box.

If the case where say two of the player's existing heavy tanks are damaged, then the player mobilizes new units so they have six heavy tanks total, then during the repair units phase the two damaged heavy tanks would not be repaired as that would put the player over the limit of having only four undamaged tanks at a time. I'm going to say that the player could not choose to start the brand new tanks as damaged so that the damaged tanks at the front line could repair themselves.

Hmmm..maybe just to make it clearer, I'll revise the rule to say, "...no more than four heavy tanks..." removing the word "undamaged".

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6 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:22 pm

Yeah I think just saying 4 heavy tanks would work fine.

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7 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:52 am

Okay, removed the word "undamaged" from the Heavy Tank description.
For trucks, what do you think; we let them transport two land units, one of which must be a regular infantry, but we take away their ability to combine with any other unit to enable the truck borne units to blitz. In other words, trucks are now purely transport.

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8 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:42 pm

I like that. We will have to how it works though.

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9 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:15 am

After playing a few games using these optional unit rules, I have the following additional thoughts... Heavy Tanks are really powerful in the right situations. I'm thinking that they be further limited by only being able to go onto a transport ship if they are the ONLY unit on the transport ship. If a player is able to transport a HT and an infantry, that's 11 IPC's worth of attacking power and three hits in combat on a single transport where previously, the most on a single transport was nine IPC's and two hits.

Special Forces units are also really powerful in the right situations but I think the rules as currently written are fine.

Lastly, trucks are under utilized so I think increasing capacity to two units (one of which much be an infantry) and removing their ability to blitz is a reasonable change.


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10 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:15 am

Okay, after playing a couple more games, we made a few more clarifications. Trucks can transport two units and the issue came up, if the truck is the only unit remaining of the attacking force, since the truck does not have any combat value, does the attacking player capture the territory? AA units do not move into enemy territory during non-combat movement so they cannot capture territory. Since trucks do move during combat movement, it is implied that they can capture territory. Either that or if they are the sole remaining units of an attacking force, the trucks MUST retreat if they are the sole remaining attacking units.


Heavy Tanks Cost – 8 IPC Attack 3 Defense 4 Move 1
Can only be constructed at a Major Industrial Complex. Each nation may only have a maximum of four heavy tanks at any one time. Take two hits before being destroyed. Damaged Heavy Tanks can be tilted sideways to indicate their damaged status. Heavy Tanks repair themselves during the owning player’s repair unit’s phase as long as the owning player still controls their capital. Can be transported by themselves on a transport ship, no other unit (except a truck – see truck below) may ride with them. Can be paired with a Tactical Bomber on the attack using combined arms just like a medium tank.

Light Tanks Cost – 5 IPC Attack 3 Defense 2 Move 2
Just like a medium tank but with less defense and one IPC less expensive. Can blitz like a medium tank and can be paired with a mechanized infantry or an assault gun. Can be paired with a tactical bomber on the attack to enhance the bomber just like a medium tank.

Assault Guns Cost – 5 IPC Attack 2 Defense 3 Move 2
Just like artillery, but with better movement and better defense. Like artillery, they can be paired with an infantry unit or mechanized infantry and enhance the infantry’s attack value by one. Assault Guns may not blitz on their own, but may blitz if paired with a light or medium tank. Can be paired with a tactical bomber on the attack to enhance the bomber, but if used in this way, it cannot also enhance the attack value of an infantry unit in that combat round.

Trucks Cost – 2 IPC Attack 0 Defense 0 Move 2
Each truck can transport two land units; one (or two) infantry, special force’s unit, AA, or artillery. If a truck is transporting two units, one unit must be a regular infantry. Only units that have not moved yet during the player’s turn may be picked up. Transported units may not move using their own movement in a turn where they are transported by a truck. Similar to an AA unit, Trucks may prevent enemy armor from blitzing. In combat, similar to transport ships, trucks are the last land units to be taken as casualties by their owner. Trucks cannot blitz, and trucks cannot capture enemy territories unless the truck moved into the enemy land territory at the start of the attacking player’s combat movement phase, transporting a friendly land unit that has an attack value (e.g. if a truck transports an infantry into a territory with one enemy infantry and both infantry eliminate each other in the same round and only the truck remains, the attacking player captures the territory). Trucks may not transport other trucks. Each transport ship may transport one truck in addition to the transport ship’s normal load.

Special Forces Cost – 5 IPC Attack 2 Defense 2 Move 1
Each nation may only have a maximum of four Special Force’s units at any one time. These are elite infantry that can also be transported on cruiser. A cruiser may only transport one special force’s unit at a time. If a cruiser drops off Special Forces in the combat phase, the cruiser may not conduct shore bombardment during that same turn. A transport may carry only one special force’s unit at a time in addition to one regular infantry unit. Any number of special force’s units can be in any given sea zone at a time, but each nation may only have one special force’s unit in any given land territory at a time. If paired on the attack with an artillery, assault gun or tactical bomber, Special Forces can have their attack value enhanced using combined arms. If an artillery, assault gun or tactical bomber enhances a Special Forces unit, they may not be paired with other units during that attack round.

These units are also airborne trained. If the unit starts its turn from any friendly airbase, they may move up to three spaces during combat movement, including flying over any intervening space just like an aircraft, and land in the third space and conduct combat. If there is an AA unit in the defending territory, before the Special Forces land, the AA unit receives a defensive die roll (hitting on a 1) to attempt to shoot down the attacking Special Forces before they land. If an AA units shoots at a Special Forces unit, the shot attempt counts as one of the AA unit’s three potential shots for that round. Special Forces may not start their turn on an airbase and move (fly) three spaces in non-combat movement. Except for the foregoing, they are treated as regular infantry units.

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11 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:12 am

Okay and made a few more tweeks. The latest version is in the top link in the chain. Was also thinking of AT guns. Cost five, attack two, defense three, move one, and anytime it hits with a die roll of one, it kills a medium tank, light tank, assault gun, heavy tank, mechanized infantry (in that order). What do you think?

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12 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:55 pm

Limit of six for Assault guns and trucks! I don't like that one at all.
Hmm I dont think auto killing a heavy tank would be cool since that defeats the purpose of having a heavy tank.
I think if we do add an AT gun we do need to not let it combo with anything because then it would too powerful.
Maybe also up the cost to 6 since the first thing it auto kills is a six cost unit.

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13 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:46 pm

Kenji did not like the limits on assult guns and trucks either. OK no limits for now except on hvy tanks and elite commandos. I do not have pieces for AT guns anyway. . . I was thinking of one special unit for each major country that only that country can buy. E.g. jet fighters for the Germans after turn six. Mobile rocket AAA trucks for the russians, night bombers for the british, torpedo bombers for the japanese, etc

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14 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:58 am

Okay, in the first link in this chain, I updated the rules to remove the limits on certain units.

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15 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Mon May 28, 2018 1:43 pm

Arthur, what do you think of
Cavalry - Cost 4      Defense 1     Attack 2      Move 2
These are soldiers mounted on horseback.  At the start of world war two, the Chinese and the Russians were two of several nations that still had cavalry.   They can blitz like armor.  They can use combined arms like infantry, meaning that artillery can increase the attack power of cavalry from "2" to "3".  

For starters, I was only going to give three cavalry units to the Chinese.  The Mongolians are also suppose to have two cavalry units.  The Chinese are limited to only three cavalry units in play at any time.  

Another optional rule that I saw and liked was Chinese armor.  If the Burma road is open, the Chinese may buy light tanks.  However they can only ever buy two tanks and only one tank per turn and the tanks can only start along the Burma road in a territory that Chinese units are legally allowed to occupy.

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16 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Tue May 29, 2018 8:57 pm

Hmm I like the cavalry idea. Not sure about the China having light tanks. Two would not be much of a bid deal but Japan has ground problems already.

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17 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Wed May 30, 2018 7:47 am

Light tanks cost five each so for two of them, China could get three infantry instead. Also, light tanks defend just like infantry. I don't think it would unbalance the area, especially since China gets three cavalry units and to compensate, Japan gets three more infantry on the continent.

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18 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Wed May 30, 2018 6:22 pm

So China would get access to light tanks and start with 3 cavalry units? And Japan would get 3 more infantry to start?

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19 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Thu May 31, 2018 10:26 am

At the very start of the game, during set up, China receives three cavalry units that they may place in any land area that already has at least one Chinese unit. To compensate, the Japanese receive three regular infantry units that can be placed anywhere on the Asian continent where there is already at least one Japanese infantry unit.

If on the first turn that China is allowed to purchase new units, if the Burma Road is open, China may purchase ONE light tank for five IPCs which must start basically along the Burma Road. Unlike Chinese infantry and artillery which may start in ANY Chinese controller territory, including just captured territories, a Chinese tank can only start in the three Chinese territories along the road.

...and again, China may only ever purchase two light tanks and once they are gone, they are gone and cannot be replaced. Also, China is limited to purchasing one light tank per turn.

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20 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Thu May 31, 2018 8:42 pm

Oh! They can only ever by two? Like teh fighter?

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21 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:18 pm

Yes, they can only EVER buy two the whole game. ...and even at that, the road has to be open, they cost nearly twice as much as an infantry, and the light tanks only have a choice of three locations to start in rather than any Chinese territory. Once one of the light tanks is destroyed, it cannot be replaced - yes, just like the fighter plane, but the Chinese have to BUY the tanks.

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22 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:49 am

So I did a simulation over the weekend... in most games, Japan shuts down the road so quickly that China usually doesn't get a chance to ever buy a tank, and even then, the limitation on only being able to spawn on the road is fairly limiting.

As far as the cavalry is concerned, China's mostly on defense so infantry are far more useful in holding the Japanese back. I will say, cavalry is useful if the road is closed to the Chinese and they need a little bit of offensive capability other than their lone fighter plane.

Anyway, after seeing the LT tank and cavalry in simulated game play, the square with the tank in it acts as a magnet for Japanese dive bombers and the cavalry rarely last more than a turn after they attack anything as even a lone Japanese infantry unit has the advantage on the attack against the lone Chinese cavalry. (Hey, my little 3 IPC unit can attack a 4 IPC unit and has an even chance!)

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23 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:42 pm

Yeah makes sense. I think what China would want to do with the extra units is have a stronghold at the ready with them so that Japan takes a costly fight or has to guard a larger area.

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24 Re: Axis and Allies - Optional Unit Rules on Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:09 am

Yeah, I played a second simulation where the Chinese held all three cavalry and the lone fighter plane with a couple infantry to act as cheap hits vs. an air strike, and you effectively have an eight point attack force with a range of two and the local Chinese infantry and / or artillery can act as the shielding units. Holding them back from the front lines but in a central location makes it so the Japanese have to advance a little bit slower due to the threat of this counter attacking force.

Still doesn't hold the Japanese back, but stalls them a little longer and maybe holds the road open for one extra turn if you want to give up territory in the north.

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