GLOBAL WAR is a two-player historical simulation of the Second World War, presented on a global scale. The game covers all the major operational theaters, in both Europe and the Pacific, in which the Axis and the Allies fought — on land, at sea, and in the air — to decide the outcome of the greatest war in human history: World War II.
The basic game mechanics of GLOBAL WAR are comparatively straight forward. Interestingly, each player is allowed to plan and execute his own national production of combat units as the game progresses. However, this somewhat cumbersome production subroutine along with the game system’s integration of land/air/sea operations into one comprehensive design necessarily makes for a long, multi-phase turn sequence. Player operations are interwoven and interactive (the Axis and Allied players will both perform game actions during the same stage of a game turn). Each game turn is divided into four operational stages, and nineteen separate phases. For example, the initial Naval Stage of a game turn proceeds as follows: First Axis Movement and Combat Phase; First Allied Movement and Combat Phase; Second Axis Movement and Combat Phase; Second Allied Movement and Combat Phase; Third Axis Movement and Combat Phase; Third Allied Movement Phase. At the conclusion of the Naval Stage, the players next continue to the Air Stage, then to the Land Stage, and finally to the last step in the game turn, the Production Stage. Thus, it is clear that while no individual game operation is particularly complicated — because there are so many of them — the game turns are (unavoidably) both long and challenging.
GLOBAL WAR offers two scenarios: the longer Standard Scenario, which begins on game turn one (Fall 1939) and continues through turn twenty-three (Spring 1946); and the shorter High Water Mark Scenario, which begins on turn twelve (Summer 1942) and also ends at the conclusion of game turn twenty-three.
- Time Scale: 3 months (one quarter of a calendar year) per game turn
- Map Scale: 300 miles per hex
- Unit Size: army/fleet/air force
- Unit Types: infantry, mechanized, self-defense, fortification, surface fleet A, surface fleet B, submarine fleet, anti-submarine warfare, merchant ship, amphibious assault, air defense, long-range bomber, atomic bomb, and information counters
- Number of Players: two (also appropriate for team play)
- Complexity: average
- Solitaire Suitability: average
- Average Playing Time: 3–9 + hours
- Two 21” x 22” hexagonal grid Map Sheet (with Game Charts and Combat Results Table incorporated)
- 1200 ½” cardboard Counters (the “Game Inventory’s” count of 800 pieces is incorrect)
- One 8½” x 11” Rules Booklet
- Two 12½” x 22” Turn Record/Production Tracks
- Two 11” x 16½” back-printed Game Charts and Scenario Sheet
- One small six-sided Die
- One SPI 12” x 15” x 1” flat 24 compartment plastic Game Box (with clear compartment tray covers) and clear plastic game cover with Title Sheet
See my blog post Book Reviews of these titles; both of which are strongly recommended for those readers interested in further historical background.