I am now 293 days into my project to document and replay the Second World War, day by day, following actual events as closely as possible within a gaming environment.
If I were in a position to start this again (maybe for the 85th anniversary?) I would have done things a little differently, but on the whole I think that using the “Axis and Allies” game rules, expanded to a more local level, seems to be working.
What’s wrong with my replay?
The Germans have not been able to deploy a U-boat force in the Atlantic, because all resources have been dedicated to the Western Front assault. The surface raiders have done a certain amount of damage, replacing the missing U-boats. With any luck that should be resolved soon. But then I anticipate a resource conflict between providing submarines for the Atlantic or aircraft against Britain.
The British naval force is under-represented. All I can hope for is that the colonies, having established factories, can begin to build more than infantry units.
The Soviet Union will almost certainly be too strong when the Germans attack in 1941. But only if they use their resources to build forces before the attack. As soon as a territory is invaded the resources become unavailable to either side, and I am being quite strict with foreknowledge of enemy intentions. With the history to hand, all nations are following their historical counterparts, not pre-empting them. (Exception was the recent Italian invasion of France that I adjusted in the next turn)
The Japanese are currently expending many resources against China (supported by U.S. resources). I think that japan needs to devote resources towards their activities in 1941, especially as the European empires are continually accumulating resources for defensive troops.
The Norwegian campaign did not work well historically. Admittedly the British vacillated, doing a sort of “Hokey-Cokey” with their forces, but the French were diverted by the German attack on the western front before arriving in Norway. With hindsight I should have committed them to Norway first, which would have probably led to a French capitulation by now.
But I do not intend to beat myself up about the history vs the game. Following the inspiration of Terry Pratchett, reality will try at all times to re-assert itself and we shall see how the game progresses.
As an afterthought, if I were to re-run this idea, I would have stuck to “pure” Axis and Allies rules, with maybe each nation making its move at the start of a new month using standard units and movement by territory. But I thing that the day to day gaming inspiration might have been lost.