- Axis & Allies
subject_name = Axis & Allies
players = 2-5
ages = 12+
setup_time = 15-30 minutes
playing_time = 2-20 hours
complexity = Medium-High
strategy = High
random_chance = Medium
Tactics, Strategy, Economics, and Teamwork
"Axis & Allies" is a popular series of
World War IIstrategy board games, with nearly two million copies printed. [Post from Larry Harris on his [http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12 forum] .] The first game was originally designed by Larry Harris and published by Nova Game Designs, [Information about [http://www.kw.igs.net/~tacit/frames/aanda/nova.htm Nova Games] ] cite journal|title=25 Years of Axis & Allies|last=Whitehall| first=Bruce| journal= Knucklebones|month=March| year=2008|volume=3|issue=2| pages=22–24| publisher= Jones Publishing] citation
contribution=Axis & Allies
title=Hobby Games: The 100 Best
Green Ronin Publishing
isbn=978-1-932442-96-0] before being republished and popularized by the
Milton Bradley Company. Milton Bradley released Axis & Allies as part of their Gamemaster series in 1984, and it was the most successful of the five. In April 2004, Hasbroreleased the Revised Edition under the Avalon Hillname. In all of the editions of the core game, up to five players can take control of one of the Axis (Germany or Japan) or Allied (the U.K., the U.S.S.R., or the U.S.A.) nations. The object of the game is to win the war by capturing enough critical territories.
"Axis & Allies" is not a strict historical
wargame, due to its streamlining for ease of play and balancing so that both sides have a chance. For instance, the economic model is simplistic, with each territory producing a number of "IPCs" (Industrial Production Certificates) good toward the purchase of any unit. Moreover, the game is supposed to start in the spring of 1942, but Japan is immediately in position to attack Hawaiiagain, while Germany is pressed well into the U.S.S.R. with an initially superior force. Another significant difference is that the Soviet Union and Japan are opponents at the start of the game; historically, they did not go to war with each other until 1945. If the game were truer to history, the Axis empires would be at their apex at this time, about to be pushed back home.
In 1996, "Axis & Allies" was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design "Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame". [cite web| url=http://www.originsgamefair.com/awards/1995/list-of-winners| title=Origins Award Winners (1995)| publisher=Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design| accessdate=2007-11-01]
The Axis powers and the Allies must attack each other's territories, with the goal of capturing their enemy's capitals; the Axis can also win an "economic victory" by gaining enough territory, which is more common in practice due to the difficulty of attacking Britain or Eastern United States.
Each turn progresses with the Soviet Union, going first, followed by Germany, the U.K., Japan, and the U.S. On each turn, the player declares IPC spending towards the production of the infantry, armored, naval, and air force units they will use in combat. A risky research option is also offered, which essentially allows players to invest (or gamble) IPC's towards upgrading certain units, like super-submarines and long-range aircraft. The player then declares combat moves (using
area movement), attacking enemy-held territory, which is resolved by comparing the units' strengths against their opponents and rolling dice to determine the winners. A unit scores a hit if the player rolls, with a six-sided die, a number less than or equal to the unit's attack or defense score, and different units attack and defend at different strengths and weaknesses (e.g., infantrymakes a better defender than attacker). Each player gets to choose how to distribute casualties amongst his or her own units and removes them from the battlefield. (This provision makes it practical to bring cheap cannon fodderunits along to soak up hits.) The battle continues until either force is destroyed or the attacker withdraws.
After all battles are concluded, the player takes non-combat actions: moving
reinforcements, landing aircraft, etc. Then he deploys units purchased at the beginning of the turn in territories with an industrial complex and finally collects income from all occupied territories to end the turn.
This cycle continues until, after U.S.A.'s turn, the victory conditions are met for one side to declare victory.
To revise the original game,
Mike Selinkerled a design team that included Larry Harris, designer of the first edition. The revision aimed to address some major concerns with the original and make the game more fun. Selinker also wrote a series of [http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/article/ah20031205a articles] describing the changes. This revised version (aka the 3rd edition) was released in 2004.
The overarching change is in the victory condition. To win in the original, either side could seize two enemy capitals, but the Axis could also win an economic victory by capturing enough resources. This rule gave the poorer Axis a leg up, but led to anticlimactic endings. Also, it often took many, many turns to finally capture heavily fortified capital territories. The designers scrapped this rule and implemented "victory cities", where each side starts with 6 of the 12 cities. In addition to the national capitals, these include
Paris, Rome, and Leningrad in Europe, Calcutta, Shanghai, and Manilain Asia, and Los Angelesin North America. With this rule, players can decide what constitutes victory at the start – playing only to 8 victory cities makes for a shorter game, while more skilled players can play until one side controls all of them. [A&A Preview #4: [http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/article/ah20031223a The Price of Victory] from Wizards of the Coast]
Another important change concerns unit capabilities and statistics. In the original,
infantrywere a cheap unit and turned out to be most useful as cannon fodder, by taking hits that would otherwise destroy more valuable units. This tended to lead to massive buildups by players amassing stacks of infantry in neighboring territories, unable to do anything other than buy more infantry, which can be ineffective attacking units by themselves due to their minimal attack value. While infantry were left unchanged in the revised edition, the tankunit defense was increased to encourage players to use combined armsrather than just rely on infantry, and to balance the value and effectiveness of comparable groups of infantry and tanks. [A&A Preview #14 [http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/article/ah20040302a A New Tank Blitzes Into View] from Wizards of the Coast] Other changes include the addition of artilleryunits, which increase the attack of accompanying infantry, destroyers, which negate the first-shot advantage of submarines, and a significant increase in the usefulness and effectiveness of transports and amphibious assaults, by allowing transports to carry any one land unit plus one additional infantry unit.
The [http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/images/aabigmap.jpgmap was also reworked] , with a new art style and many gameplay changes. One important change is the fragmentation of Germany's Eastern Front. The area from Berlin to Moscow now includes many small territories, a victory city (Leningrad), and a strategic industrial complex at the
Caucasus. This change was designed to encourage more dynamic play in an area that often bogs down into heavy fortification. Another notable change is to the South Pacific region, which now provides much of Japan's starting income and is a much more valuable target for Allied incursion. [A&A Preview #13 [http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/article/ah20040227b Brave New World] from Wizards of the Coast]
A new system of optional rules was implemented. Each power has six possible advantages, representing tactics or technologies used in the war. For instance, if the U.K. has the "Enigma Decoded" advantage, it may quickly move units during Germany's turn in response to an attack on U.K. territory. A number of these advantages can be chosen or randomly picked for each side at the beginning of each game to alter gameplay.
In the original game, each country's infantry pieces were uniquely shaped. In the revised game, this uniqueness was expanded to include almost all of the units. American fighters and tanks are P-38s and Shermans, Russian tanks are
T-34s, Japanese fighters are Zeros, etc. Russia and England share sculpts with the US for artillery, transports, destroyers and carriers. England uses US sherman tank sculpts, and Russia uses the English battleship sculpt.
Many other changes are documented in the manual, [http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/rules/axis2004.pdf available for download] from
The 1991 Edition rules are [http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/rules/axis.pdf available for download] from
Hasbroacquired the Milton Bradley Company, they kept "Axis & Allies" in print as part of their Avalon Hilllineup, a game company they bought in 1998. Under the same brand, they published two follow-up games, ' (1999) and ' (2001), that were designed by Larry Harris, the original designer of "Axis & Allies". The latter especially tinkers with the original game mechanics and tries to make the game feel less scripted while keeping the appeal of the original.
Larry Harris also designed ' (released June 2004). Based on the Allied liberation of France, the game plays at a tactical level (rather than a
strategicone like its predecessors), getting rid of most resource management and using a smaller-scale world. D-Day won a 2005 Origins Awardfor Best Historical Board Game. ' was published in November 2006. Like "D-Day", it is a standalone, 2-player version of the game focusing on a smaller conflict. "Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge" is notable because it features the biggest departures from the original game, including a hex map, supply rules, and a different combat system.
In 2005, Avalon Hill released a line of
miniaturesunder the "Axis & Allies" brand.
"" was released in 2007.
Several computer games are also based on "Axis & Allies". They are mainly turn-based strategy games closely based on the board game, but more recently in 2004, a real-time strategy game was created based on the board game, similarly called "Axis & Allies". The
real-time strategygame includes a turn-based mode that is closely related to the board game, but you can only attack one enemy-occupied territory per turn. The player can either fight battles in RTS mode or have the computer calculate the outcome. There is also a campaign mode in which you can fight historical battles playing as the Allies, or try to change history by playing as the Axis. All of the battles in the campaign mode are fought in the RTS mode.
An online version of the 2004 revised edition was recently released on [http://www.gametableonline.com/ GameTable Online] . Originally created for Wizards of the Coast's website, the game found its new home when Wizards of the Coast changed their online strategy. The game includes live play against both human and AI opponents (or a mix of the two).
An open source version of the game called "TripleA" also exists in which one can play alone or online against other players. It is based on the 2004 revised rules.
Axis and Allies Miniatures"
Axis & Allies (1998 video game)" - This was true to the board game and is very rare and sought after (particularly Iron Blitz).Fact|date=March 2008 The 1998 release has several bugs that the Axis and Allies World Club has fixed in an unofficial patch.Fact|date=March 2008
Axis & Allies (2004 video game)", a real-time strategy variant of the board game
* [http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/prod/axis Avalon Hill's official "Axis & Allies" site]
* [http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/rules/axis2004.pdf Avalon Hill's offical "Axis & Allies" English rulebook]
* [http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/faqs/axisrevised "Axis & Allies" rules errata and FAQ]
* [http://www.harrisgamedesign.com Larry Harris Game Design] - Creator of "Axis & Allies"
* [http://www.gametableonline.com/gameinfo.php?gid=24 Official "Axis & Allies" online game]
Communities and strategy sites
* [http://www.aamc.net/bunker/ Axis and Allies Members Club] - 'One of the largest and best International Axis & Allies Clubs in the World'
with Free Membership, an Automatic Dice Server, Team Games, Tournaments, Individual Games, Competition, and Rankings
* [http://www.axisandallies.org/ Axis & Allies.org] - News, strategies, forums, and more since 1997; other languages: [http://it.axisandallies.org/ it icon]
* [http://www.geocities.com/headlesshorseman2/smoreyswamp.html SmoreySwamp] Site for premier, vendor-sponsored, face-to-face tournaments
* [http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Caspian_Sub/ Caspian Sub] - "Axis & Allies" articles on strategy and solvable strategy puzzles
* [http://www.morrisongames.com Axis & Allies discussion and strategies]
* [http://www.advancedaxisandallies.com Axis & Allies Variant games]
* [http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/axisandalliesminiatures/ Axis & Allies Miniatures]
* [http://www.kw.igs.net/~tacit/index.htm Generals of Waterloo] - Tribute site with history, strategy, tactics, alternate rules, and expansions
* [http://www.axisandalliesworldclub.org Axis & Allies World Club] - Club for "Axis & Allies" online using a custom patch of the 1998 CD
* [http://www.daak.de Deutscher Axis & Allies Klub] - German "Axis & Allies" club
* [http://www.giocolab.135.it/ GiocoLab] - Strategies, variants, faq, and more
* [http://axisandallies.forumup.it Axis&Allies Italia Forum] - Italian community
* [http://triplea.sourceforge.net/ TripleA] - Open source "Axis & Allies" game for online and
* [http://cannonade.net/downloads.html#AA TripleA ScreenSaver] - Screen saver and map viewer for "TripleA"
* [http://frood.net/aacalc/ AACalc] - Web-based combat simulator/calculator for "Axis & Allies Revised Edition"
* [http://members.tripod.com/~PhilipHall/aamain.html Philip Hall's odds calculator] - Windows utility for Milton-Bradley edition
* [http://www.fiber.net/users/drshades/gcrisis.htm Global Crisis] - Completely new rulebook for greater historical accuracy and realism
* [http://www.armchaircommander.com Honor and Infamy: Commanders] - "Axis & Allies" add-on game
* [http://interformic.com/variants.html#PAA Plotted A&A] - Variant in which players plot each turn's activities in advance
* [http://axisandalliesrealism.com# Enhanced Realism Rules] - Variant rules which strive to bring greater realism to gameplay
* [http://GamesByEmail.com/Games/WW2 W.W.II] - Free browser-based, play-by-email, "Axis & Allies" game at GamesByEmail.com. 100% AJAX, no flash or installs required.
* [http://www.ewarzone.com The WarZone] - Free service with no adware or spyware that allows players with the CD-rom to play "Axis & Allies, 3rd edition" online
* [http://www.xenogames.com/xenoproducts.htm Xeno Games World At War] - unauthorized expansion kit introducing Paratroops, Armored Infantry, Strategic Rail Movement and more.
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