Kaiserreich Boardgame (WIP, feedback, comments and ideas appreciated)

Initial rough draft
  • I've been working on this project on and off for a while, and I believe I'm making some inroads lately. First, some opening remarks. This is intended to be a boardgame, even if one with many regions and some complexity, and as a board game it has some limitations Regions can’t be too large for many of the conflicts in the Kaiserreich universe to work, especially when compared to normal WWII games, but you need to put some tokens on them. For the first playtests, I’ll be using cardboard tokens around 1cm in size. This is very much a work in progress. An idea for all continents is to delete many small islands and greatly reduce the number of sea zones. All feedback and assistance is appreciated.

    The map


    Americas


    Overall the simplest continent to work on, but some things gave me trouble

    Entente

    Canada is very simple on paper with its large provinces, but I’m having a bit of trouble to port actual borders on the map for some reason. It should have around 6: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Plains, North-western Territory and Newfoundland. Not sure about their production values either. Nova Scotia/New Brunswick could be a region too… probably overthinking this. Canada should be strong, but much weaker than the Union of Britain on its own. It should have some weight, but the strength of the Entente is its numerous countries.

    Jamaica and the Franco-British Caribbean should be 1 region worth 1. Unsure about their possessions in South America (and Dutch Guiana)

    Internationale

    Mexico has 5 regions (8): Mexico City (2), Baya (1), Yucatan (1) and 2 that need good names (2) and (2). It feels a bit lightweight, but it shouldn’t be a powerhouse either.

    Chile has 2 regions (4): Santiago (3) and Coquimbo (provisional name) (1)

    Reichspakt

    The Americas are only continents that don’t feel the Kaiser’s iron grip… so far.

    United States

    United States has 22 regions (43): Washington (1), New England (2), New York (4), Atlantic (3), Upper South (2), Virginias (2), Carolinas 2, Deep South (2), Louisiana (2), Texas (3), Steel Belt (3), Great Lakes (3), Midwest (2), Great Plains (2), Dakotas (1), Southwest (1), Rockies (2), Cascadia (2), California (3), Hawaii (1), Alaska (1), Panama (1)

    Not that egregious considering the United States have a population of 130 million people and is the strongest economy in the world on paper, but I can’t help but feel it’s still too many. I thought about giving fusing the Virginias with the Upper South in an Appalachia region, or the Dakotas with either the Great Plains or the Rockies but it may be unbalanced.

    Miscellaneous Americans

    Brazil has 5 regions (11): Sao Paolo (4), Amazonia (1), Salvador (3), Mato Grosso (1) and Rio Grande (2)

    Uruguay has 1 region (2)

    Argentina has 4 regions (7): Buenos Aires (3), Cordoba (2), Chaco (1) and Patagonia (1). Some may be renamed.

    Paraguay has 2 regions (2): Asuncion (1) and Grand Chaco (1)

    Bolivia has 2 regions: La Paz (2) and Santa Cruz (1)

    Peru needs to be reduced to 2 regions at most

    Venezuela and Colombia both have 2 regions, but unsure of what to do with them.

    Next comes the Caribbean: Cuba, 1 region or 2? Haiti and the Dominican republic, 1 region or 2? What about Puerto Rico?

    Similarly, Central America is complex. Do we fuse it a bit like it was done in old Kaiserreich? Or do we keep it down to 2-3 small single region states? What about Nicaragua being syndicalist?

    Europe

    Overall, Europe is very complex. You need to have many small regions to represent its fracture and to allow important battles over it, but then regions may be too small to put tokens on it and make the situation confused. I expect to fuse many regions.

    Internationale

    The Union of Britain is composed of 4 regions (12): London (5), Manchester (4), Wales (1) and Scotland (2)

    The Commune of France has 8 (12): Paris (3), Normandy (1), Brittany (1), Aquitaine (2), Occitainie (1), Marseille (2), Auvergne (1), Grand Est (1). Thinking about combining Aquitaine and Occitanie in a region worth 3.

    Red Italy has 3 (6): Piedmont (2), Tuscany (2), Emilia (1)

    Entente

    Monarchist Italy (with Papal states) has 4 (6): Rome (2), Mezzogiorno (2), Sicily 1, Sardinia 1. Thought about combining Rome with the Mezzogiorno, or making Rome worth 1 (it is a fairly small region on the map, unless we enlarge it)

    Portugal has 2: Lisbon (2) and Norte (1). Colonies will be 2 or 3 provinces.

    Reichspakt in Europe

    Germany has 10 regions (20): Alsace-Lorraine (2), Rhineland (3), Berlin (2), Bavaria (3), Saxony (2),
    Prussia (2), Pomerania (1), Schwelsig (2), Hamburg (2), Stettin (1). Thinking about combining Prussia with Pomerania

    Ukraine has 5 regions (7): Kiev (2), Brest (1), Odessa (2), Donbas (1), Crimea (1)

    Flanders-Wallonia are 2 regions, each worth 2 (and without German annexation they're already a puppet and the map looks nicer this way). Alternatively, Belgium could be 1 region worth 3

    Poland is a region worth 2

    Ruthenia is a region worth 1

    Lithuania is a region worth 2

    Finland has 2 (3): Helsinki (2) and Lapland (1)

    The Baltic Duchy is a either a region worth 2 OR 2 regions worth 1 each?

    As we can see, the 2nd Weltkrieg is massively skewed in favour Germany here, and that’s without Austria-Hungary factoring in… How can the syndicalists stand a chance? We’ll see later.

    Austria-Hungary (14 regions for 22)

    Austria+Illyria has 6 (9): Vienna (2), Trent (1), Salzburg (2), Trieste (2), Bosnia 1, Montengro 1

    Hungary has 5 (8): Budapest (2), Slovakia (2), Debrecen (1) Transylvania (1), Croatia (2)

    Czechia has 2 (3): Bohemia (2) and Moravia (1)

    Galicia has 1 (2)

    The internal division of the empire isn’t that important right now, but it will have a role once we get down to policies.

    Russia

    It should have around 20 regions or so. Most will be worth 1, and vast swathes of Siberia can be cut up this way. The rework for it isn’t out yet, but I support the idea of removing Don-Kuban. Vladivostok/Transamur as a puppet of Japan at the start of the game can stay however. Not sure on how to handle the Caucasus.

    Mischellaneous European

    Bulgaria has 4 provinces (5): Macedonia (1), Sofia (2), Varna (1), Thrace (1)

    Ireland has Dublin (2) and Ulster (1)

    Netherlands is 1 region worth 2+colonies for later

    Serbia is 1 (2)

    Greece will be probably 2 (mainland+Crete)

    Republican Italy has 2: Milan (2), Venice (2) OR a single region called Lombardy-Venetia worth 3? Should it be neutral or a puppet of Austria similarly to the Reichspakt’s minor countries?

    Spain has 5: Madrid (2), Castille-Leon (2), Andalusia (1), Catalonia (2), Basque country (1)+Spanish Morocco (0) and Sahara (0)

    Spanish Morocco may be absorbed by normal Morocco to represent a protectorate and have simpler borders

    Albania is 1 region worth 1

    Romania 2 (4): Bucharest (2), Bessarabia (2)

    Norway has 2 regions (3): Oslo (2) and Narvik (1)

    Denmark has 3 regions (3): Copenhagen (2), Iceland (1), Greenland (0)

    Haven't touched Switzerland but it'll be reduce to 1 or 2 provinces at most.

    Need to cut Sweden in 2, preferably vertically (Goteborg on one side and Stockholm on the other)


    Asia and Oceania

    This continent has been barely touched.

    I made some attempts to divide Japan, but it may be too fiddly. It has tons of overseas regions so we may get away by splitting the archipelago in 2 or 3 regions.

    Mongolia will be 2 or 3 regions of low value but large size. I see our friend Roman carving up large sizes of barely inhabited land with his Pan-Mongolian army and generous Japanese funding.

    China is a terrible mess in Kaiserreich, and while it is entertaining, it needs to be massively simplified. For now, the idea is to turn all the warlord states into large single regions worth a lot of production (3 to 5), while combining the Eight provinces with the empire proper. But what can Fengtian do against it? No idea yet, but it would likely include massive Japanese support.

    Certain cities like Shanghai (maybe Hong Kong too?) will be controlled by Germany.

    Tibet can be one large, low production region englobing Bhutan (or it can just stay a small space on the map without much value).

    Nepal can be a region of value 2.

    India is still being reworked as we speak, but I think it’s fair to say there will be one syndicalist-friendly republic and one remaining British dominion.

    Australia is sparsely populated. The west can be a single region, the east 2, with the nearly impassable central desert separating them.

    New Zealand will be 2 regions of low value (maybe one worth 1, the other 2?)

    Persia looks alright, but unsure about its values. May cut it down to 3 regions rather than 4

    Afghanistan as large blob of value 1 is alright for me.

    Indochina is complex. I have a conflicting relationship with it, as I don’t think it should be under the German orbit, but hey, it’s not my setting. Should be divided in 2 or 3.

    Thailand/Siam can work in 2 or 3 regions

    Dutch Indonesia should be simplified in 2 or 3 regions. Maybe give them some of Malaysia? Singapore sounds like the kind of place Germany could take over easily for massive advantage

    Philippines can be 2 regions (sorry all those little islands)

    Africa

    Worked a bit on national France, but it’s far from done.

    Egypt is a regional power, and should be split in 4 or so provinces + Suez (under German control… for now)

    Libya is split in 2: Tripoli (1) and Cyrenaica (1)

    Liberia is fine as is, worth (1)

    As said before, Morocco could be a large region englobing Spanish Morocco as a Spanish protectorate.

    Mittelafrika is the heart of darkness figuratively and literally. Not sure how to split it, but it should have enough regions to allow Entente/International/US to go set up some rebel states

    Mozambique is fine in 1 region, not sure on Angola

    Abyssinia will be a couple of regions.

    Somalia will be 1 under Germany.

    South Africa can work with 4 regions: Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Rhodesia. Not sure on their production values.

    Gameplay

    You have 3 to 8 players: Entente, Internationale, Reichspakt, Austria-Hungary, Russia, United States, Japan and the Ottoman Empire.

    The objective of the game is to either outmanoeuvre diplomatically or crush militarily the opposing powers.

    Turn structure

    Political phase:
    the turn player gains political suppor: certain Policies and having a minor power fully on your side will give you some.

    Then they can implement a Policy. These will take the form of a card detailing what it does (generating support, gain "free" units, backing a coup/supporting a party in an election in a neutral country), its cost in either production points, political support or both (that may vary depending on conditions in the field). I would also like to implement politician characters to fill (small) cabinets to give certain bonuses and make certain policies compatible with only certain ideologies (there won’t be as many as in base Kaiserreich that’s for sure), but this may be way too much to begin with.

    Production phase: The player collects their production tokens and spends them Infantry costs 1 production, armour costs 2 and planes 3. For fleets, submarines costs 2 and capital ships cost 4. They are placed on the side and deployed in the Mobilization phase. Each power and minor nation has a cap for each unit type, but it can be raised by policies. You can also recruit a General character. Each costs some political support and compatible with only certain ideologies when that will be implemented. Technological research will take place here when implemented.

    Operations phase: The turn player can then declare movements and invasions. Infantry moves by one state, tanks and planes 2, which means they can attack up to two territories. If they enter a neutral or enemy territory, combat starts.

    All units roll 1 die. Attacker rolls first, while the defender can roll dice equal to the territory’s production to represent militias. Infantry and militia hit on a 5+, planes and tanks on a 4+. Planes of both sides fight each other first, then the winning side can use them in the ground fight. The attacker may call off his planes or ground forces at any moment, and the defender can similarly always retreat to a friendly adjacent territory if possible. General characters can be used to give a bonus in one separate combat each.

    Submarines hit on 5+ move up to 2 sea zones, can decide not to attack enemy ships when entering the same sea zone, but can't attack twice in a turn. Capital ships move 1 sea zone, hit on 4+ (6 against subs) and can survive 2 hits.

    I have also thought about a more granular system. For instance, a poorly trained or equipped infantry unit would hit on 5+ while regular modern forces would hit on 4+. Will need some playtesting, especially regarding the costs.

    Mobilization phase: units produced this turn are placed on territories that can accommodate them, even newly captured ones. States can accommodate produced units equal to their production value.

    And that’s it. A bit simple for now, but depth will be added. When I manage tp playtest this, I will focus on a continent first to see how the mechanics work (probably Europe or America).
     
    Map update
  • Map update! The goal remains to have a workable number of regions by combining some. Even in the "finished" countries, some feel like they have too many. The few regions worth 0 could be split among nearby ones unless there's a strategic reason not to. There's many small and random colonial zones that will be probably just deleted, alongside small islands and archipelagos. Some sea zones have been added, but they're very rough.

    Entente
    Canada has 7 (9): Ontario (2), Quebec (2), Maritimes (1), Canadian Plains (2), British Columbia (1), Newfoundland (1), Northwestern Territory (0)

    Still not sure on the West Indies. They're probably a bit irrelevant due to the scale of the game, but they cover land a bit everywhere

    Internationale

    Mexico has 5 regions (8): Mexico City (2), Baya (1), Yucatan (1) and 2 (one next to the US border, the other on the Pacific) that need good names (2) and (2).

    Chile has 2 regions (4): Santiago (3) and Coquimbo (provisional name) (1)

    Nicaragua has annexed Costa Rica (for now) and is worth (1)

    Reichspakt

    The Americas are only continents that don’t feel the Kaiser’s iron grip… so far.

    United States

    United States has 22 regions (42): Washington (1), New England (2), New York (4), Atlantic (3), Upper South (2), Virginias (2), Carolinas 2, Deep South (2), Louisiana (2), Texas (3), Steel Belt (3), Great Lakes (3), Midwest (2), Great Plains (2), Dakotas (1), Southwest (1), Rockies (2), Cascadia (2), California (3), Hawaii (1), Alaska (0), Panama (1)
    Thinking about adding the Dakotas to the Rockies. Not sure about Puerto Rico, may make it worth 1.

    Miscellaneous Americans

    Brazil has 5 regions (11): Sao Paolo (4), Amazonia (1), Salvador (3), Mato Grosso (1) and Rio Grande (2)

    Uruguay has 1 region (2)

    Argentina has 4 regions (7): Buenos Aires (3), Cordoba (2), Chaco (1) and Patagonia (1). Some may be renamed.

    Paraguay has 2 regions (2): Asuncion (1) and Grand Chaco (1)

    Bolivia has 2 regions: La Paz (2) and Santa Cruz (1)

    Peru has 2 regions: Lima (2) and Andes (1)

    Venezuela is 1 region (2)

    Colombia has 2 regions: Bogota (2) and Caribe-Pacifico (1)

    Cuba is worth (3)

    What about Haiti and the Dominican republic?

    Central America isn't done, in part because of Belize
    Internationale (15 regions worth 30)

    The Union of Britain is composed of 4 regions (12): London (5), Manchester (4), Wales (1) and Scotland (2)

    The Commune of France has 8 (12): Paris (3), Normandy (1), Brittany (1), Aquitaine (2), Occitainie (1), Marseille (2), Auvergne (1), Grand Est (1). Still thinking about combining Aquitaine and Occitanie in a region worth 3, but overall it's alright as it is.

    Red Italy has 3 (6): Piedmont (3), Tuscany (2), Emilia (1)

    Entente (7 worth 9)

    Monarchist Italy (with Papal states) has 4 (6): Rome (2), Mezzogiorno (2), Sicily 1, Sardinia 1. Thought about combining Rome with the Mezzogiorno, or making Rome worth 1 (it is a fairly small region on the map, unless we enlarge it)

    Portugal has 2: Lisbon (2) and Norte (1).

    Reichspakt (22 worth 40)

    Germany has 9 regions (20): Alsace-Lorraine (2), Rhineland (3), Berlin (2), Bavaria (3), Saxony (2), Prussia (3), Schwelsig (2), Hamburg (2), Stettin (1).

    Ukraine has 5 regions (7): Kiev (2), Brest (1), Odessa (2), Donbas (1), Crimea (1)

    Belgium is a region worth (3)

    Poland is a region worth 2

    Ruthenia is a region worth 1

    Lithuania is a region worth 2

    Finland has 2 (3): Helsinki (2) and Lapland (1)

    The Baltic Duchy is 2 (2): Estonia (1) and Latvia (1)

    Russia

    It should have around 20 regions or so. Most will be worth 1, and vast swathes of Siberia can be cut up this way. The rework for it isn’t out yet, but I support the idea of removing Don-Kuban. Vladivostok/Transamur as a puppet of Japan at the start of the game can stay however. Not sure on how to handle the Caucasus.

    Austria-Hungary (14 regions for 22)

    Austria has 6 (9): Vienna (2), Trent (1), Salzburg (2), Trieste (2), Bosnia 1, Montengro 1

    Hungary has 5 (8): Budapest (2), Slovakia (2), Debrecen (1) Transylvania (1), Croatia (2)

    Czechia has 2 (3): Bohemia (2) and Moravia (1)

    Galicia has 1 (2)

    The internal division of the empire isn’t that important right now, but it may have a role once we get down to policies.

    Mischellaneous European

    Bulgaria has 4 provinces (5): Macedonia (1), Sofia (2), Varna (1), Thrace (1)

    Ireland has Dublin (2) and Ulster (1)

    Netherlands is worth (2)

    Serbia is worth (2)

    Greece will be probably 2 (mainland+Crete)

    Republican Italy has Lombardy-Venetia worth 3?

    Spain has 5: Madrid (2), Castille-Leon (2), Andalusia (1), Catalonia (2), Basque country (1) and Sahara (0)

    Albania is 1 region worth 1

    Romania 2 (4): Bucharest (2), Bessarabia (2)

    Norway has 2 regions (3): Oslo (2) and Narvik (1)

    Denmark has 3 regions (3): Copenhagen (2), Iceland (1), Greenland (0)

    Switzerland is worth (2)

    Still need to cut Sweden in 2, preferably vertically (Goteborg on one side and Stockholm on the other)
    Tons of work remains to be done.

    Entente

    Australia is 4 regions (6): Western Australia (1), Outback (1), Queensland (2), New South Wales (2)

    New Zealand is 2 regions (3): North Island (2), South Island (1)

    Ceylon (1)

    Part of India will be under the Entente.

    Reichspakt

    Rather than Qing China being part of the pact, Germany will control 3 regions in China: Shanghai, Tsingtao and Hong Kong, each worth 1 or 2. Hainan will be under the Qing.

    They have many (perhaps too many) other regions: Laos, Hanoi, Saigon, Sarawak, Malaysia, German New Guinea... and that's without the many small Pacific isles.

    Japan

    I made some attempts to divide Japan, but it may be too fiddly. It has tons of overseas regions so we may get away by splitting the main archipelago in 2 or 3 regions, and remove tons of small islands. A thing to consider is that it needs to stand on its own with only Japan, Formosa, Korea and Fengtian/Manchuria.

    Fengtian/Manchuria is 3 regions of uncertain worth

    Korea is 2 regions

    Formosa is 1

    Ottomans

    Constantinople, Smyrna, Konya, Ankara, Syria, Palestine,Hejaz, Palestine, Mesopotamia and a few too many others...

    Others

    Qing China should have 10 or more, warlords included

    Mongolia will be 2 regions of value 1 and large size

    Central Asia be made in a couple of regions

    India (including the Dominion/princely states) should also have 10 or more

    Tibet (1)

    Nepal (1)

    Bhutan (0) if we keep it

    India is still being reworked as we speak, but I think it’s fair to say there will be one syndicalist-friendly republic and one remaining British dominion.

    Persia looks alright, but unsure about its values. May cut it down to 3 regions rather than 4

    Burma is 2 regions, could be 1

    Afghanistan as large blob of value 1 is alright for me.

    Arabia could be 2 rather than 3 regions

    Yemen and Oman are fine as 2 regions worth 1

    Thailand/Siam can work in 2 regions for its proper land and a 3rd for Cambodia

    Dutch Indonesia should be simplified in 2 or 3 regions. Maybe give them some of Malaysia?

    Philippines can be 2 regions

    Entente
    National France has 10 regions: Algiers (2), Tunisia (2), Corsica (1), Senegal, Guinea, Chad, Sudan, Mali, Sahara, Mauritania. Feels like too many, even if some could be made worth 0...

    South Africa can work with 4 regions: Cape, Natal, Botswana and Rhodesia. Not sure on their production values, but in total they should have 6 or 7.

    Mozambique (1) and Angola (2)

    Reichspakt

    Suez is under German control… for now, worth (1)

    Mittelafrika remains the heart of darkness, with a staggering 17 regions... + Madagascar. Not sure Djibouti would remain, it's less strategically important with Suez in German hands.

    Neutral

    Egypt is 3 regions: Cairo (2), Sudan (2) and (to be named) (1)

    Libya is split in 2: Tripoli (1) and Cyrenaica (1)

    Liberia is fine as is, worth (1)

    Morocco is worth (2) and "independent"

    Abyssinia is 2 regions: Ethiopia and Eritrea

    Somalia is worth (2)

    EDIT: forgot the current map
     
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