|How to Read a Battle Ticket|
|by David Devere|
The Axis and Allies Campaign game is divided into two parts: strategic and miniature. High Command is in control of the strategic portion of the game and you, as field commander, are in control of the miniatures portion. Each week High Command will update the strategic part and issue new orders to you via Battle Tickets and Fleet Actions. Once the battles are played you need to report the results on an After Action Report. High Command then uses your reports to update the strategic maps, make production decisions and issue new orders.
Let’s look at how to read a Battle Ticket and Fleet Action. Both a Battle Ticket and Fleet Action are snapshots of forces that will be available to you. Both represent units on the strategic board and both have things in common that will determine how you can build your force.
Here are things to remember when building your force:
- Date Specific: Only units of the noted date or before are available in your build. For example, if the play date is 1943 you can use units from this year or before as noted on the stat card.
- Country Specific: For example, if the Germans are fighting the British make sure your builds are using forces available to those nations.
- Points: Each side is given a specific build point total. Any unspent points are lost.
- Minor Nations and Lend Lease: Some of the main countries can use equipment, troops and vessels of their allies in builds.
- Battle Number: This number is referred to when reporting on an After Action Report.
Here is an example of a Battle Ticket. Battle Tickets are different from Fleet Actions in these ways:
- Build Points: Build Points are Limited to Vehicle, Soldier and Wild: Vehicle, soldier and wild points on the Battle Tickets are represented on the strategic board by tanks, infantry and artillery/aircraft respectively. Vehicle points can only be used to build vehicle type units as listed on the stat card. Soldier points can only be used to build soldiers and obstacle type units as listed on the stat card. Wild points can be used to purchase any unit type. For example, if the Battle Ticket lists 50 points in soldier and 50 points in wild then you are required to build at least half of your force in only soldier or obstacle type units but the 50 wild points can be spent on any unit available to your nation for that year or before. Extra soldier or vehicle points can be combined with wild points to build units.
- Nationality Command Requirements: Either one or both sides might be required to use allied nations in their build. If they are, a box listing the percentage would be checked and you now have to use that amount of friendly allied troops in your build. For example, the Germans are fighting in North Africa and are required to use 20% Italians in their build.
- Salvaged Equipment: If equipment is listed you can include it in your choices of available units.
- Rules Box: Specific rules will be listed here for Standard Assault, Fixed Defender, Breakout and Blitz type battles.
Battle Tickets also include Defender Command Decisions. The defender usually gets to choose two options before the start of the game. Here is a list of options and their definitions:
- Map – Counts as Both Choices.
- Place a Terrain Tile Anywhere: Terrain tiles can go on any hex even the objective.
- Move the Objective 2 Hexes any Direction into Cover: This option is executed after the players have chosen sides and after any changes have been made to the map. This allows the defender to place new terrain and move the objective into it.
- Choose Side.
- Make 2 Random Terrain Tile Rolls: Randomly select two terrain tiles. Determine a number for each side of the objective hex. Roll a d6 for direction and a d6 for distance from the objective hex to place each terrain tile. Distance rolls of 1or 2 equal a move of 1 hex, 3 or 4 move two hexes and 5 or 6 move three hexes.
- Both Sides get 25 Points of Reinforcements on Turn 4: At the beginning of turn 4 both players can build an additional force of up to 25 wild points. These units deploy on each player’s first hex row or are held off board in the case of heroes, aircrafts or parachutists before rolling initiative. Subtract any reinforcement points used to build this additional force from the remaining troop points on the After Action Report.
- Change a Quarter of the Map: The defender can change any quarter of the map with another map section.
Here is an example of a Fleet Action. They are similar to Battle Tickets but have a different build concept and Defender Command Decisions.
- Build Restrictions: Players are required to buy the units listed before spending the remaining points on any other unit available on that year or before.
- Victory Points: Fleet battles won’t always be 100 points vs. 100 points. They will often be bigger and have uneven sides. Victory Points equal the total amount needed to win the game. Use this total divided by three to determine the value of each objective.
Fleet Actions also include Defender Command Decisions. The defender usually gets to choose two options before the start of the game. Here is a list of options:
- Map: The defender chooses map and for Fleet Actions this counts as one choice.
- Force the Attacker to set up First.
- Move 1 Objective 1 Sector any Direction.
- Choose Side.
- Place an Island, Shoal or Squall on any Non-objective Sector.
- Both Sides get 25 Points of Reinforcements on Turn 4: At the beginning of turn 4 both players can build an additional force of up to 25 points. These units deploy on each player’s ship deployment area or airbase before rolling initiative. Subtract any reinforcement points used to build this additional force from the remaining troop points on the After Action Report.
Once you’ve played the battle it is crucial to submit the results to High Command. Without your results we can’t add your contribution to the game. Complete an After Action Report and email the results to AAR@wizards.com. You will have one week to complete and report the current Battle Tickets and Fleet Actions. Note: This email address will not be live until the campaign starts.
The After Action Report is how you submit your results to High Command. Here is a look at the different fields that need reporting.
- Battle Number: This is important. We need to know which battle you are reporting for.
- Victor vs. Defeated: Note the side that won and your name or nickname. Victories and participation will be tracked weekly for the creation of a leader board.
- Remaining Victor Troop Points: This is the amount of troops that the winning side had remaining at the end of the battle. Add all remaining on-board units, aircraft, non-deployed units and retreated units to report the total. For example, Jerry won with 30 points of soldiers left on the board. He also has a hero (8 pts) he forgot to deploy and a surviving Focke-Wulf 190A (14 pts). During the game he retreated a damaged Panzer III (13 pts) rather than risk its destruction. His Remaining Victor Troop Points as reported are 30+8+14+13 = 65.
- Remaining Defeated Troop Points: This is the amount of troops that the defeated side has successfully retreated at the end of the battle. Add all remaining aircraft, non-deployed units and retreated units to report the total. At the end of the game all the defeated player’s remaining units must make a retreat roll. Roll a d6 for each remaining piece. On a die roll of a 4, 5 or 6 the unit retreats successfully; otherwise it is destroyed. For example, Jerry is defeated with a Tiger I (63 pts) and a Haupsturmfuhrer (7 pts) remaining. He rolled a 5 for the tiger and a 2 for the Haupstrumfuhrer. The Tiger retreats but the commander is destroyed. Before the game Jerry chose reinforcements (25 pts) as one of his two defender options so he has to subtract these points from his remaining total. His Remaining Defeated Troop Points as reported are 63 – 25 = 38.
- Optional Salvage Reporting: If the winning side destroys artillery or vehicles during the battle these units can be reported as salvaged to High Command. List these at the end of the After Action Report for that specific battle number.
- Something Spectacular? If something in your game happened that was unusual, overly heroic or down right uncanny report this in a short summary and High Command might include the report in the weekly update.
This campaign game relies on your participation. This event will only be a success if you make it so. Remember, you have one week to play and report the Battle Tickets and Fleet Actions. We encourage you to print out the Tickets and Actions and play with your friends face to face, online or even solo. Play the tickets as much or as little as you like - just play them and report. We will average the reports to determine the outcome of the battles. You can use any house rule you’d like, and if you don’t have the required pieces you can break the restrictions of the tickets or actions by first breaking unit limits, then year, followed by type and country if necessary. But try and stay as close to the letter of the ticket as possible. Many people have large collections, and numerous complaints have been logged about units not being viable for tournament play. This game should offer you an opportunity to look deep into your collections and dig out those often forgotten units. Year restrictions are one of the best aspects of this game. How do you destroy a T-34 with a Panzer III? Can American battleships successfully fight the Japanese before the advent of the Iowa class battleship? You will have to find out. The fate of WWII is now in your hands.
Soon Germany will unleash Operation Barbarossa on an unwary Russia. It’s the summer of 1941. Be prepared to read your orders carefully, execute them ruthlessly and report to High Command for your next assignment.
What did you do during the war? Discuss battle tickets and the Axis & Allies Campaign on our message boards.