The Greater East Asia War

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World at War issue no. 6
Game Title: The Greater East Asia War
Date of Publication: May 2009
Decision Games, PO Box 21598, Bakersfield, CA 93390
Decision Games hereby grants permission for its customers to download and/or print copies of this file for their personal use. Discussion folders for this game are located on's discussion board.
These eRules were first posted on 14 May 2009. They contain 23,484 words. The optional rules have been added at then end of the file.
These eRules were updated on 15 May 2009. See the Map Errata section beneath the contents listing in red. They now contain 23,520 words.
These eRules were again updated on 18 May 2009. See 11.19 in bold/blue. They now contain 23,542 words.
These eRules were again updated on 20 May 2009. See 6.0, 18.7 & 27.2 in bold/green. They now contain 23,730 words.
These eRules were again updated on 29 May 2009. See the map errata section beneath the contents listing, and rules 14.5, 19.2 & 29.0 in bold/brown. They now contain 23,970 words.
These eRules were again updated on 19 June 2009. See rules 23.4 & 37.1 in bold/orange. They now contain 24,098 words.


1.0 Introduction

2.0 Components

3.0 Set Up

4.0 Sequence of Play

5.0 Victory Points

6.0 Reinforcements & Withdrawals

7.0 Reorganization

8.0 Land Movement

9.0 Ground Unit Stacking

10.0 Zones of Control (ZOC)

11.0 Combat

12.0 Retreating After Combat

13.0 Pursuit

14.0 Supply

15.0 Headquarters

16.0 Airpower

17.0 Naval Bombardment

18.0 Amphibious Operations

19.0 Air Transport & Airborne Operations

20.0 Unique Units & Markers

21.0 Engineering Operations

22.0 Seasons

23.0 China

24.0 Japanese Client-State Units

25.0 Staging Areas

26.0 USSR, Outer Mongolia & Manchukuo

27.0 Victory Conditions

28.0 Scenario I — 1941-42: Asian Blitzkrieg

29.0 Scenario II —1941-45: Campaign Game

Optional Rules

30.0 Random Events

31.0 Psychological Warfare

32.0 Additional Engineering Operations

33.0 Special Tactics

34.0 Additional Air Missions

35.0 Naval Combat

36.0 Bases

37.0 Maximum Defensive Supply

38.0 Supply Unit Capture

39.0 Building Additional Ports

40.0 Additional Railroad Operations

41.0 Untried Chinese Units

42.0 The USSR, Outer Mongolia & Manchuria

43.0 Additional Victory Conditions

44.0 Scenario III — 1944-45: Time Runs Out in the CBI

45.0 Optional Rules Charts & Tables


Design & Development: Joseph Miranda

Final Rules Editing: Ty Bomba

Playtesters: Ty Bomba, Dr. Christopher Cummins, Paul Koenig & Joseph Miranda

Map & Counters: Joe Youst

Production: Callie Cummins & Chris Cummins

Special thanks: Will Stroock

© 2009 Decision Games, Bakersfield, CA. Made & printed in the USA.

Counter Errata

The US 1st Provisional Brigade should be an armor unit rather than “LT”. Its combat and movement factors are otherwise correct. (We’ll provide an errata-fix counter in issue 15.)


On the Terrain Effects Chart, the mechanized movement cost for desert should be “2” and not “4.”On that same portion of the TEC, the “Defense Multiple” for desert should simply be “-“ instead of the phrase that’s printed there.

On that same portion of the TEC, the phrase “+ supply attrition check in monsoon” should be replaced by the phrase “+ supply attrition check in summer (III turns).

Clarification: the lower Yangtze River runs along hexsides 2915/2916, 2915/3016 and 3015/3115, and it should be the same color as the rest of the river.

Map Errata

Chittaong is misspelled and should be Chittagong.

In hex 3117, Wenchow’s point value should be “1” in a circle.

Turn Record

The 1945 turns should be numbered 14-15-16.


Corps Components Table (correction)

The "3-1-5" under Japanese Mechanized Corps should be a "3-1-7".
 Counter sheet

The different colored unit boxes on British units have no effect on play. All British units are considered the same nationality for purposes of reorganization and other game functions. (The colors represent different national contingents within British Empire forces.)

1.0 Introduction

Greater East Asia War (GEAW) is a two-player, intermediate-complexity, strategic-level simulation of the World War II campaigns waged across China and Southeast Asia. One player controls the Japanese forces; the other player controls various Allied contingents.

The concept of “victory points” (VP) is central to the play of this wargame. Players begin each scenario with a designated number of VP. They may expend them to gain reinforcements and to carry out other actions. They gain new VP as a result of achieving objectives; they lose VP when they lose units in combat. To win the game you must have more VP than your opponent, so play becomes a balancing act between expending VP and attaining objectives.

GEAW uses a system based on that of a previously published S&T design, Twilight of the Ottomans; however, there have been changes owing to the developments in warfare between the two world wars.

2.0 Components

2.1 Equipment

A complete game of GEAW includes: a game map, this rules set and a sheet of 176 die-cut counters. Players will also need to provide themselves with a six-sided die.

2.2 The map shows East Asia as it was in 1941-45. A hexagonal grid has been superimposed on it to regularize the movement of units and to delineate terrain types. Units are placed in hexes and must remain within hex boundaries at all times.

The map is divided into “countries” — that term is used loosely since some of them were colonies at the time. In general, both sides’ units may enter all portions of the map. The only exceptions are the USSR and Mongolia, which are off limits for all game purposes (but see the optional rules). China is also divided into a Communist Zone and a Nationalist Zone. The Front Line on the map shows the kick-off positions in China for the 1941 scenario but otherwise has no effect on play. Note Japanese-controlled territory in China includes several enclaves along the coast. The front line is otherwise described in the individual scenarios

2.3 Counters

There are two basic types of counters in the game: “units,” which represent military forces, and “markers,” which are used to record various game functions and display information. Units are further broken down into a number of sub-categories.

2.4 Sides

There are two sides in the game: 1) the Japanese side, which includes all Japanese units as well as those belonging to their empire’s “client” states; and 2) the Allied side, which includes British, US, Dutch and Chinese (Nationalist and Communist) units.

2.5 Unit Types

Ground Combat Units


Light infantry






Special Operations



Support Units


Tactical Airbase

Strategic Airbase


Naval Units

Naval Bombardment Task Force

Carrier Task Force

Amphibious Task Force

2.6 Information on Combat Units

2.7 Information on Support Units

2.8 Back-Printing

Supply units are back-printed as bases. Units are otherwise back-printed with their national flags. The base units are for use with the optional rules, which can be downloaded for free at .

2.9 Unit Sizes

Unit sizes represent the functional organizational size according to Western military standards. Historically the Japanese termed their corps-sized units “armies,” but for game purposes they are shown as corps.

xxxx: army

xxx: Allied corps, Japanese field force

xx: division or air division

x: brigade, group or task force; Allied air wing or air command.

2.10 Abbreviations on Units


AA: Area Army

BAAG: Burma Area Army Garrison

Ch Ex: China Expeditionary Army

DEIG: Dutch East Indies Garrison

F: (Air) Fleet or Flotilla

ForG: Formosa Garrison

ICG: Indochina Garrison

ImGd: Imperial Guard

KorG: Korea Garrison

KTA: Kwantung Army

KT Def: Kwangtung Defense Force

NBF: Naval Base Force

MGA: (Inner) Mongolia Garrison Army

Sase: Sasebo

SG: Siam Garrison

SNLF: Special Naval Landing Force

Tei Sh: Teishin Shudan (raiding group)

Yoko: Yokosuku

Japanese Client States

BIA: Burma Independence Army

C Chi: Central China

EIIA: East Indies Independence Army

INA: Indian National Army

IndoC: Indochina

Manch: Manchukuo

Meng: Mengjiang (Inner Mongolia)

N Chi: North China

Siam: Siam


AC: Assam Command

A/B/C/Ind: general groupings of Indian Army garrison forces

Aus: Australian

Bur C: Burma Command

Bur D: Burma Division

CD: Chindit

Cdo: Commando

HK: Hong Kong

Ind: Indian

MC: Malay Command

Mal D: Malaya Division

RAAF: Royal Australian Air Force

SAF: Strategic Air Force

SarFor: Sarawak Force

WA: West African


DEI: Dutch East Indies


A Cdo: Air Commando

AVG: American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers)

CACW: Chinese-American Composite Wing

MARS: 5332 Provisional Brigade

Prov: Provisional

Republic of China

CXF: Chinese Expeditionary Force

GHQ: General Headquarters

Y: “Y” Force

Z: “Z” Force

Chinese Communist

RA: Route Army

2.11 Unit Colors

Japanese Side

Japanese: red on white background (including that side’s supply/base units)

Japanese Client States: white on gray background

Allied Side

British & Commonwealth: black on tan background

Dutch: black on orange background

US: white on olive drab background

Nationalist Chinese: white on dark blue background

Chinese Communist: white on dark red background

Allied-side supply units/bases: black on leaf green background

2.12 Markers

Players will need to scrounge marker-counters for use on the Turn Record, etc. Blank counters from other games, coins, expended shell casings, etc., can be used.

2.13 Game Scales

Each hex on the map represents 74.5 miles (120 kilometers) from side to opposite side. Each game turn represents three months.

3.0 Set Up

3.1 The game is played in scenarios, each of which covers a phase of the war. There is also a “Campaign Scenario,” which covers the entire war. Players should first agree which scenario they’ll play and the side each will command. They then place the units for their side as listed under the initial deployment rules in the order listed. Play starts with the first turn of the scenario and continues until its final turn, one player wins an automatic victory, or one player concedes.

3.2 The scenario instructions describe set ups in terms of unit types and combat factors. Specific unit historical identifications don’t matter. Units may be set up anywhere in their designated areas. They may not be set up in the same hex as enemy units. Units may set up in enemy zones of control.

3.3 Friendly Forces

Each player controls more than one national contingent. Except where specifically noted, all units on each side are friendly to each other, meaning they may stack and conduct combat together, use each other’s supply, etc.

4.0 Sequence of Play

4.1 The game is played as a series of “game turns.” Each game turn is divided into two “player turns,” one Japanese and one Allied. Each player turn is composed of several segments called “phases.” All actions during a game turn take place in a prescribed order of phases called the “sequence of play.”

4.2 Sequence of Play Outline

1) Japanese Player Turn

a) Japanese Mobilization Phase. The Japanese player expends VP in order to receive reinforcements.

b) Japanese Reorganization Phase. The Japanese player may break down and combine units.

c) Japanese 1st Movement Phase. The Japanese player moves some, none, or all his units.

d) Japanese 1st Combat Phase. The Japanese player conducts attacks.

e) Japanese 2nd Movement Phase. The Japanese player moves some, none, or all his units, but he must expend supply units in order to do so.

f) Japanese 2nd Combat Phase. The Japanese player again conducts attacks.

g) Japanese Supply Attrition Phase. The Japanese player checks to see if any of his units are lost to supply attrition (applies only to certain turns).

2) Allied Player goes through the same sequence of steps given above for the Japanese player, but using his own (Allied) units, VP, etc.

3) Victory Point Phase. Each player totals the VP he’s attained for occupying objective hexes.

4) Victory Check Phase. Check to see if the conditions exist for an automatic victory by either player.

5) Turn Advance Phase. Move your Game Turn marker ahead one space on the Turn Record Track on the mapsheet. If it’s the last turn of the scenario, the game ends and the players check for victory.

5.0 Victory Points

5.1 Players are given an initial amount of VP by the scenario instructions. Players gain and give up VP as play progresses. Each player openly records his own VP total using pen and paper.

5.2 Gaining VP

Each objective hex a player occupies with his units is worth the number of circled victory points printed in that hex. A player gains the VP for occupying hexes with land units during each game turn’s Victory Point Phase. Each player totals his VP at that time and adds that number to his total.

5.3 A player may gain VP each turn for controlling the same objective hexes. For example, occupying Singapore throughout the game means taking its three VP each turn in step 3 of each game turn. Any kind of land unit, including support units, counts for achieving occupation. Further, occupying units may generally be from any friendly force, with the following exception: hexes occupied solely by naval units never count for VP. Remember, “occupy” means having one or more land units in the hex during a Victory Point Phase. Simply being the last to have had a unit pass through a now-empty hex doesn’t count for VP.

5.4 No Deficit Spending

Both players may expend VP to bring new units into play; however, neither player may ever expend VP in such an amount as to reduce his VP to zero or less.

5.5 Losing & Gaining VP

Players may also lose or gain VP due to the loss of units in combat. All such gains or losses are instantly scored. That is, points scored for occupying cities are recorded only in Step 3 of each game turn, while VP gained or lost for other reasons are scored as they occur.

5.6 VP Limits

If a player’s VP total reaches 100 it can go no higher. If it reaches zero, see rule 27.2. If some event would cause a player’s VP total to both go higher and lower simultaneously, determine the difference (positive or negative) and add or subtract that difference.

6.0 Reinforcements & Withdrawals

6.1 Players may enter new units into play during the Mobilization Phases (1/a and 2/a) of their own player turns. Such units are called reinforcements (even if they’ve been in play earlier in the game). They may be entered into play on the map by expending VP and by special scenario instructions. Withdrawals are units in play that must be removed from the map.

Clarification: Once you purchase a naval unit, it remains in play until eliminated or (optional rules) withdrawn.

6.2 Mobilization Costs

The Mobilization Costs Table printed on the mapsheet specifies the VP cost for each unit brought into play. A player may recruit any number and type of units within the restrictions stated on the chart and those set by the counter-mix.

6.3 Mobilization Costs Table Explanations

“VP Cost” is the number of VP you must expend to enter each such unit. “-” means that unit may not be mobilized into play by spending VP. “(1942+1943),” etc., means such units may be recruited only in turns of those years. “(once)” means such units may be entered into play only once per game.

6.4 Reinforcement Placement

Reinforcement units must be placed on the map according to strictures given on the Reinforcement Placement Table printed on the mapsheet. Units may never be placed in hexes containing enemy units or prohibited terrain.They may be in excess if stacking limits. They may otherwise be placed in enemy zones of control. Placement is not considered movement and therefore doesn’t use up any movement points. The Reinforcement Placement Table specifies restrictions in addition to those described above.

6.5 Restrictions

Unless otherwise noted, a player may take any number of reinforcements, of any type or types, in a turn as long as he has the VP to pay for them. Units created by combining units (such as British mechanized corps) may not be taken as reinforcements, they may be created only by combining units on the map (see section 7.0 for more details).

6.6 The Allied player may enter British and US units onto the map via amphibious movement. The Japanese player may enter Japanese units via amphibious movement. That occurs during movement phases. See rules section 18.0 for more details.

6.7 Units that are part of initial deployment don’t cost VP.

6.8 If all hexes eligible for the entry of a reinforcement are occupied by enemy units, that reinforcement may not be entered into play. Such units aren’t delayed; they’re simply lost. Put them back into the general pool of available reinforcement units. (Of course, you want to be looking over the control-situation on the map at all times in order to avoid this kind of fiasco.)

6.9 In general, units that have been eliminated or withdrawn may be brought back into play as reinforcements by paying the normal VP cost for them. Exception: eliminated or withdrawn headquarters may never be brought back into play.

6.10 Chinese Reinforcements. See section 23.0.

6.11 Limits

The number of each type of combat and support unit in the game’s counter-mix is a deliberate design limit. You may not mobilize more of any given type than have been presented within the counter-mix.

7.0 Reorganization

7.1 During the Reorganization Phases (1/b and 2/b) of their own player turns, players may replace corps with divisions and vice versa. Breaking down corps, as well as combining smaller units to form corps, is termed “reorganization.” The Corps Components Table printed on the mapsheet gives the details for unit type for which reorganization may be carried out. Players may also break down units to extract losses for combat, for a withdrawal, and for other game actions as required.

7.2 Breakdown

To break down a corps, remove the unit from the map and replace it with the number and type of divisions indicated on the table. You may do that voluntarily only during the Reorganization Phases of your own player turn. You may also have to do it involuntarily as the result of battle in a Combat Phase (your own or your opponent’s), or due to supply attrition. Units removed from the map due to reorganization immediately become available for all game actions, such as reinforcement or future reorganization. Supply units are sometimes required to facilitate the build up of a corps from component divisions; however, the supply units expended in that way are not returned if such corps are later broken down.

7.3 Combining may occur only during your own side’s Reorganization Phases. The involved units must be in the same hex and in general supply (see 14.2). Remove the divisions (and possibly a supply unit and armored unit) from the map and replace them in the same hex with an appropriate corps.

7.4 Restrictions

Units that break down or combine must generally be of the same nationality and of the specified type(s). For example, the Allied player could combine three British infantry divisions and an armored brigade into one British mechanized corps; however, he would not be allowed to do that with one US and two British divisions plus the armored brigade. Unless stated in the scenario rules, players may not break down or combine units during initial deployment. Combining may occur voluntarily only during your own side’s Reorganization Phases. Breakdown may occur at other times in the turn, involuntarily, due to combat results or supply attrition.

7.5 Note that only British and Japanese corps may break down or build up in the game. No other units may do so.

8.0 Land Movement

8.1 Each player has two movement phases in each of his own player turns. During the 1st Movement Phase, the moving player may move as many or as few of his own sides units as he desires. During the 2nd Movement Phase, the player may move units only by expending supply units to enable that movement.

8.2 Units may be moved in any direction or combination of directions within the pattern of the hex grid printed over the map. There are two types of land movement: 1) normal movement, which is governed by each unit’s printed movement factor; and 2) railroad movement, which is conducted according to rules 8.9-8.13.

8.3 Restrictions on 2nd Phase Movement

In order for units to move in the 2nd Movement Phase, the moving player must expend supply units. Each supply unit expended allows all units within its supply radius to move in that phase. A supply unit used for this purpose may not itself move in the 2nd Movement Phase (it may have moved in the first phase). That also applies to airborne and amphibious movement in the 2nd phase. (See rules sections 18.0 and 19.0 for more details on that.) Units may not use railroad movement in the 2nd Movement Phase.

8.4 Movement Procedure

Units are moved one at a time, tracing a path of contiguous hexes through the hex grid. As each unit enters a hex it expends one or more movement points (MP) from its movement allowance (MA). Different types of units have differing MA and are affected differently by terrain. Consult the Terrain Effects Chart (TEC) printed on the mapsheet for further details.

8.5 Restrictions & Prohibitions

Your units may be moved only during your own movement phases. Once you’ve moved a unit and removed your hand from it, it may not be moved again that phase unless your opponent agrees to allow it. Advance and retreat after combat are not regular movement and therefore don’t consume MP (see sections 11.0 & 12.0). A unit may expend all or some of its MP before coming to a halt during any friendly movement phase. Unused movement points may not be accumulated from phase to phase or turn-to-turn, nor may they in any way be transferred from unit to unit. Motorized units may not enter certain types of terrain, as noted on the TEC.

8.6 Minimum Movement

All units may generally move a minimum of one hex per friendly movement phase by expending all their available movement points at the very start of that move. Units may not, however, move directly from one enemy zone of control to another enemy zone of control, nor may they ever enter an enemy occupied hex or one containing prohibited terrain.

8.7 Zones of Control

Units must stop all their movement for that phase when they first enter an enemy zone of control (EZOC); see section 10.0.

8.8 Effects of Terrain

A moving unit must expend one MP to enter a clear terrain hex. To enter other types of hexes a unit must expend more than one MP. When the TEC calls for an MP expenditure to cross a hexside, that cost is in addition to the cost for entering the hex.

8.9 Road & Railroad Movement

All hexes marked as roads, along with all those marked as railroads, are considered to have roads running in them. Units moving along roads 1) pay one MP per hex if non-mechanized; or 2) pay 0.5 MP per hex if mechanized; and 3) don’t pay any movement costs for other terrain in a hex or hexside they’re entering via road. Roads may be used regardless of a moving unit’s supply state and, if a railroad is used as a road, regardless of which side controls that railroad.

8.10 Supply Unit River Movement

Supply units that move via hex paths adjacent to rivers: 1) pay 0.5 movement points per hex entered; and 2) don’t pay any movement costs for other terrain in or around a hex they’re entering via river movement.

8.11 Railroad Movement

Land and air units may move via railroad by paying one MP to initiate such moves. That expenditure having been made, the unit may move an unlimited number of hexes as long as it moves entirely by rail via friendly controlled rail hexes. Such units pay no further movement costs while making such moves.

8.12 Railroad Movement Restrictions

To use rail movement, a unit must start the movement phase in general supply (see 14.2). Your units may use railroad movement only during your own side’s 1st Movement Phases.

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