World in Flames Collector's edition primer Posted on 27 Sep 07:21 , 0 comments

World in Flames is a comprehensive game of World War II with many rules but each rule is fairly simple and many of them are optional and can be safely ignored when you first play. Many people have asked for a short primer so here’s my fist stab (feel free to comment).

World in Flames: collector’s edition primer

You are one of the world’s leaders running one or more major powers throughout world war II. You control their military, industrial and diplomatic capabilities to slow down the offensives of your enemies and commence a few of your own.

Each turn (36 maximum for the Global war campaign) is 2 months long and the sequence of play for each turn is as follows (with explanations as necessary).

Sequence of play

The sequence of play in a turn is:

A. REINFORCEMENT STAGE – Place your reinforcing units in cities in your home country

B. LENDING RESOURCES STAGE – publicly state how many resources and build points you plan to give to which of your allies during this turn’s production step (see E5 below)

C. INITIATIVE STAGE – roll to see who will decide who goes first this turn

D. ACTION STAGE - the guts of the game

Repeat D1 through D3 until the action stage ends.

D1 Determine weather – roll a die which tells you what the weather is in each of the 6 weather zones this impulse

D2 First side’s impulse Every major power on the first side performs these steps:

D2.1 Declare war – and call allies into the war if you satisfy the pre-requisites

D2.2 Choose action Choose either a pass, naval, air, land or combined action.

D2.3 Perform actions

The major powers that didn’t pass perform these steps in this order (their action choice will limit what they can do ~ see action limits table):

(a) Port attacks

(b) Naval air missions

(c) Naval movement

(d) Your naval combat

(e) Opponent’s naval combat

(f) Strategic bombardment

(g) Ground strike missions

(h) Rail movement

(i) Land movement

(j) Air transport

(k) Debark land units at sea

(l) Invasions

(m) Paradrops

(n) Land combat

(o) Air rebases

(p) Reorganisation

D2.4 End of action

Roll to end the action stage. If it doesn’t end, advance the impulse marker the number of spaces shown on the weather chart for the current weather roll. If it ends, move on to stage E - the end of turn.

D3 Second side’s impulse If the action stage didn’t end, repeat the steps in D2 for the second side. If the action stage doesn’t end after the second side’s impulse, go back to D1.


Both sides perform these steps in this order:

E1 Partisans – roll to see which countries will get partisans this turn

E2 Entry markers and US entry – major power with neutrality pacts choose entry markers to place on their common borders and the US receives entry markers that allow her to choose US entry options (eg production increases or sanctions against asix powers) and eventually declare war

E3 Return to base

E4 Final reorganisation – turn all units face up

E5 Production – build stuff

E6 Intelligence (KiF option 41) – earn intelligence points that allows you to change future results

E7 Peace – surrender, liberate or conquer other countries

E8 Facility, factory & oil destruction (option 32 & 33)

E9 Victory check – see if you have won the game. If you haven’t, and it's not the last turn, move the turn marker on and start the next turn.


See easy huh?

Basically everyone does a few things together at the start, notably the very fun step of putting all your brand new reinforcements due to arrive this turn, that you have built with your latest technology, inside your country ready to hurl at the enemy this turn. Then you state how many build points you plan to give to your allies this turn. This is like your stake in a game of poker, if you don’t get them through (most likely because enemy surface, air or sub units have cut your convoy lines) then you can’t use them yourself.

Then comes a very important die-roll, the roll for initiative. Whoever rolls the (modified) higher die decides who will go first this turn. This allows you to set up the dreaded double turn (you get to move last in the last turn then first in this). At the right time this can rip a front wide open and you want to maneuver the initiative track to set you up to give you the maximum manipulation ability on the turn it matters and if you have to lose the initiative do so when it doesn’t.

Now we get to the guts of the game. Each turn is divided into a number of impulses where its straight Hugo-Igo until the end of the turn. Whoever is going first rolls for weather this impulse (it’s the same for both sides), decides if they want to declare war on another country (or countries) and then call in allies if you satisfy the prerequisites to do so.

Next each major power on your side must choose an action type for this impulse; a land that allows unlimited land moves and combats, an air which allows unlimited air missions or a naval which, unsurprisingly, allows unlimited naval missions. Or you can instead choose a combined action which allows you to do a little bit of everything.

Then you move your units and fight your battles. This is fairly interactive as your opponents can attempt to intercept your naval moves and fly air missions in response to your moves and attacks.

After you have moved your units and resolved all your combats you roll for the end of the turn. The first couple of impulses its not possible at all but the chance increases each impulse till it can become inevitable (the top chance is 8 out of 10 thus theoretically the game might never end but as you subtract 2 when everyone on a side passes you can guarantee it will end late in the turn by sacrificing your last go).

If it doesn’t end it’s the other side’s go to choose an action type and move and fight with their eligible units. The impact of this is that you can never be certain when the turn will end or who will end it. You must always plan with the fog of war in mind and maximise your moves based on the most likely number of impulses there will be before the turn ends. Most importantly, whenever possible always move with the thought in mind that your opponent’s may get the next two impulses in a row (the last one of this turn and the first one of the next). If its reasonably early in the turn and you have high initiative then its unlikely but you can never tell for sure.

When the action stage ends then everyone does the end of turn stuff. Roll for partisans, work out the entry markers for the US and any countries in a non-aggression pact (eg Germany and the Soviet Union from 1 September 1939), then return ships to base (during which they can be again intercepted) or move them down a sea box, and then final reorganisation (turn all face-down units face-up).

Then you do your production (each resource that gets to each of your factories gives you 1 production point which is multiplied by a variable that increases over time as your factories become more efficient at building things). All the units have the costs and time on the back. Build what you want (within gearing limits if playing with that option) and put them on the production circle the number of turns ahead as also stated on the back of each unit and marker.

At the start of each year new units are added to your force pools which represent all the stuff your boffins have learnt and applied to the latest model of tank, plane ship, artillery, truck or whatever. You can accelerate this by advance building but at a cost (must build out that type’s force pool and then pay double to buy one randomly from next year’s reinforcement).

Then comes the peace step where you work out if the political situation has changed and countries are conquered or liberated or agree to come to a mutual peace (often happens in a Soviet-Japanese conflict early in the war when the two combatants have other countries they need to worry about (Germany and the USA respectively) all of a sudden).

Next we have the facility destruction step where you can destroy your own factories or resources to hinder your enemies use of them and you believe they have good chance of getting to them next turn. Then finally the victory check step where you see if you have won an automatic victory (taking all of the major objectives). In the most likely case that no one has, you move the turn marker on and start the next turn.

As to victory, to win your side must get more objectives than the campaign states that side needs to win. But then the winning player is the player from that side who has got the most objectives more than the scenario reckons that player should get (modified by your bid at the start of the game to play that country).

Thus you want to help your allies just enough for your side to guarantee a win, but not so much that they do better than you. This tension between teamwork and greed gives the game the same diplomatic slippery slope that your real-life counterparts had to deal with and you must come up with ever more inventive reasons why you wish your dearly respected, admired and loved allies every success in their current and future endeavours, and can promise them all support short of help.

Good luck in your mission to protect your people, humble your foes (who are not only your allies don’t forget), and make your country the most glorious it can be.