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FAQ for Victory: World War II

Info taken from FAQs in file area and various forum threads, consolidated into a Wiki page so that people can more easily find all the info in one place and update it.
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Official website

http://www.columbiagames.com/cgi-bin/query/cfg/zoom.cfg?product_id=3501
This page at Columbia Games includes links to buy spare parts, download the rulebook (currently 2.2) PDF and various other optional rules and strategy notes and scenarios.

Other resources

Steffan O'Sullivan's Victory page:
http://www.panix.com/~sos/bc/victory.html

Victory forum at Columbia Games:
http://www.blockgames.us/viewforum.php?f=12

Scenarios

Many players find that the simple symmetric scenarios in the rulebook lead to a slow back-and-forth slog because:

  • It's hard to capture a fully defended city.
  • Players produce steps and new units too quickly.

The usual suggestions to address this:

  • Play better designed scenarios, often with asymmetry or a turn limit or some special rules. E.g. some scenarios give one player a larger starting force and the other player more production, thus encouraging the first player to attack quickly before the second player can build up their forces. Many scenarios can be found in game's file section at BGG and at the Columbia Games page.
  • Use the optional Building Cadres rule so that you can't immediately create (e.g.) a strength 3 armor unit, but only a strength 1 (and then on a following turn you can add more steps to it).
  • Use the optional Pursuit Combat Round rules to cause more battle casualties.
  • Use fewer starting units or larger maps to decrease the unit density and make it harder to have fully defended cities.
  • Various more radical homebrew rules, e.g. reducing stacking limits in cities, ignoring stacking limits when attacking and only enforcing them after the battle, etc.

Expansions

Columbia Games published a Logistics Set and an Elite Units Set (the latter appears out of print and hard to find).

There are also a total of 16 maps for variety and larger scenarios. Maps 1-4 come with the game. Maps 5-16 are available as expansions.

There are also blocks and labels for additional armies in additional colors for multiplayer games.

See Victory products listed here:
http://www.columbiagames.com/cgi-bin/query/cfg/allblockgameitems.cfg

Optional rules

Victory has attracted many player-proposed optional/advanced rules adding new unit types, new rules, and other chrome. These can be found in game's file section at BGG and at the Columbia Games page.

On the other hand the base system is nicely simple/elegant in many ways. :)

Fog of War

Blocks are hidden except during combat

See the sidebar on page 2: "Except when fighting a battle, the blocks stand upright, their label facing the owner." So after a battle is resolved, the revealed blocks are then concealed from their opponents again.

Some information can be deduced

Even though blocks are hidden, you can still deduce some things. E.g. if a enemy unit moves 3 spaces into your stack, you know it cannot be airborne/marine/infantry.

2.1 Terrain types

Alpine is impassible to army units and supply lines

Army units cannot cross an alpine hexside (except via road).

A unit in alpine adjacent to a supply line road through a non-road alpine hexside is unsupplied. (For other land type hexsides, it would be supplied.)
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/12163425#12163425

Rivers and bridges both cause a unit to miss their first attack

Units which crossed a river (even via a bridge) do not fire in the first combat round.

Rivers are impassible from the sea to the first bridge

Rules 2.2 added "Rivers are impassable to army movement and supply from the mouth of the river to the first bridge upstream."

Coastal

To distinguish river from coastal: If any of a land hex's hexsides is all water, then it is coastal. River art seems to intentionally cross and re-cross hexsides to help disambiguate.

3.3 Army Units

Marines (MA)

Marines seem to cause the most rule confusion. The consensus seems to be:
They usually move like any other Army unit, except that they cannot cross all-land hexsides. I.e. they must "hug the coast".
Sea Invasions work roughly analogous to Paradrops. They do their special (non-Army-style) move that turn and for the first round of combat are considered a naval unit for purposes of being targeted and they must "land" (or retreat) as their first round combat action.

"Hug the coast" confirmed here:
http://www.panix.com/~sos/bc/victory.html
See also:
Marines (and Airborne) stacking and combat?
Marine units

4.2 Hexside Limits

Hexside limits only matter for entering battle

If units are not entering an enemy-occupied hex, then as many units as you like can move through a given hexside. (Same as in many Columbia Games.)

4.3 Hex Control

Unoccupied non-home hexes revert to neutral

You must keep a unit in a captured non-home hex to keep it friendly (and thus usable as an airbase and for a destination of strategic movement).

4.42 Air Stacking

2 extra air units are always allowed in a city/town

I.e. not only during combat, but any time you can have (e.g.) 4 army units and 2 air units in a clear city hex.

You can also have more than 2 air units, but the excess count as army units and thus count against the army unit stack limit.

4.71 Sea Movement

Army units moving at sea are considered naval units with no attack ability.

They can retreat from battle and their turn to act comes after the aircraft carrier step.
http://www.panix.com/~sos/bc/victory.html

5.5 Retreats

Air units must retreat to a different airbase

Even if you attack and win in an airbase, your attacking air units must return to a different airbase. (They must land in a friendly airbase, and hex control is checked at the end of your player turn after combats are resolved.)

Retreating from won battle

Note that if the attacker wins the space before all units have fired three combat rounds, those who have not yet fired in the third combat round may still retreat during their turns, even if there are no enemy units left in the space ... thus you don't always have to occupy the space you just attacked and won.

http://www.panix.com/~sos/bc/victory.html

6.0 Production

Note that unlike many games, you don't add up your total city production points and then spend it where you like. Production points can only be spent in the city which produced them. An implication of this is that steps can only be added to units while they are in a city.

Units cost the same, which bothers some people since (e.g.) armor is better than infantry, but the block distribution implies that you'll build plenty of infantry.

7.0 Supply

7.1 "a continuous line of Friendly or Neutral road hexes"

That means "a continuous line of road hexes, each of which is friendly or neutral".

It does not mean "a continuous line of hexes, each of which is a Friendly hex or is a Neutral road hex."

I.e. being adjacent to a Friendly supplied unit does not make a unit supplied. Being adjacent to a Friendly or Neutral road hex makes a unit supplied.

Suply lines.

7.2 Are some cities on expansion maps automatically not supply bases?

7.2: "A City must have a Supply Line to another Friendly City to be a Supply Base." Some argue that cities with no road to another city (on expansion maps such as Map 14) are thus automatically not supply bases. But it seems like they are port cities and thus by 7.3 Sea Supply they typically have a (Sea) supply line to another friendly city.

Suply lines.

7.4 Unsupplied units do not cut off enemy supply

The rules as written literally imply that your own units' supply status is not checked at the end of your turn; only enemy units' supply status is checked. Therefore strictly speaking, if you had an unsupplied unit which was blocking an enemy unit's supply, and at the end of your turn it was apparently now in supply, it would nonetheless still be considered out of supply, and thus not really cut off the enemy's supply.

However it's not clear if that was the intent. And that strict interpretation could require remembering or marking unsupplied units. So many players interpret it that you check all units' supply status at the end of your turn, and thus your formerly unsupplied but now back-in-supply unit can block the enemy's supply.

Suply lines.

Play Charts

"Determine Supply Status of Enemy Units" during Production?

The rules are written assuming 2-player (or 2-team) games. Check for supply attrition of enemy units at the end of your own player/team turn as described in Game Turns 2 "Player Turn 1" (page 2) and in section 7.4. The Sequence of Play on the back page was apparently written for multiplayer games.

Supply Attrition question

Easily forgotten rules

Marines cannot cross all-land hexsides; they must "hug the coast"

When a moving unit must stop

A unit must stop when entering forest or marsh or mountain, or crossing a river without a bridge.

Infantry has G3 firepower when defending Cities.

Units which don't fire in the first round of combat

  • Units which entered battle across a river or bridge skip their first round of combat.
  • Airborne doing an airdrop must land before firing in their first round of combat. If they're fired at before that, they are air units.
  • Marines doing an amphibious invasion must land or retreat instead of firing in their first round of combat. If they're fired at before that, they are naval units.

5.43 Shore bombardment restrictions

Shore Bombardment cannot be done if any enemy naval units are still defending the Battle Hex.

Only one round of Shore Bombardment is permitted unless Friendly Army Units are also ashore.

5.45 Surface to Air (Flak) restrictions

Naval and Ground units use their Air firepower to "flak" air units, but only if they have been attacked from the air in that same combat round.

5.46 Army units cannot be eliminated by Air or Naval fire.

Air units must retreat to a different airbase

You cannot build new units outside of your home cities

You can add steps to your units in captured non-home cities, but you can't build new units.

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