Posts tagged ‘war game’

Axis and Allies Board Games – The Comparison/Review

Author: Andrew Tullsen

I’m going to try to lay out some of the differences and similarities between the different games in the Axis and Allies series. I’m going to assume you know something about the general Axis and Allies system.

Original Milton Bradley Edition

Let’s start with the original Milton Bradley Edition

The game that started it all. This game comes in a rather large box, and is a little outdated. I don’t suggest getting this one. There is a reason why these sell for only $10 on ebay. The box is so big the top dishes easily. The pieces are stored in Styrofoam containers, and a very blocky mold – not a lot of detail. The game has some key flaws, 2 of the main ones being the tech that gives you triple dice for your bombers, and Russia had about a 50-50 chance of defeating Germany if the Russians attacked right away from on turn 1. The game also doesn’t include artillery or destroyers.

Plays from 2-5. OK, let’s move on to the next one.

Revised World Edition (Avalon Hill)

This is the first one I got, so I have a little bit of bias towards it. I love it. I’ve played it so many times that I’ve memorized the entire setup for it. This is being compared to the (Milton Bradley (MB) edition.)

  • The minis in this game are much more detailed.
  • The sea zones are numbered for easier setup and PBEM (Play By EMail).
  • There are a lot more ocean and land spaces, allowing for greater flexibility.
  • It has destroyers and artillery.
  • Starting Setup has changed quite a bit.
  • Submarines can submerge.
  • Tanks got a better defense, Battleships are now double health, Fighters are lowered in cost.

This is the best game of the series. It is the “main” Axis and Allies and gives you the grand strategic battle.

Every first round will be different, as players try out new strategies. Part of the fun is finding out what would happen if you tried this plan or that one. It lets you change history, at least for a few hours.

Included in the back are 6 national advantages for each nation. You can roll or choose them. Some are duds, some are ok, some are really great. These are optional, but we almost always use them when we play.

I think this game plays great with 2 or 5 and well with 3-4.

2 players allow you to manage one whole side, and 5 players lets each player take 1 nation. 3-4 players just require doubling up on some of the nations.

Plays 2-5

Axis and Allies : Europe

As might be expected, this game sets the scene in Europe. The map includes the East US, parts of Africa, and a good bit of Russia. Germany is the only Axis Power, and boy, do they look powerful. Tiger Tanks are all over, the infantry are just piled up in groups waiting to attack,  and their subs dominate the Atlantic. There are Convoy Boxes next to some sea zones. These represent shipments coming in to the allies. The allies will get the value from the convoys if they still own them. But if Germany was the last one to enter those spaces, then that allied cash flow is stopped, but Germany doesn’t get the money from it. The Allies can take these back by moving a ship through them, and perhaps fighting any units there.

  • It includes 2 new units – destroyers and artillery. Destroyers are a good buy for half the price of battleships. Artillery fit in between the infantry and the tank. It attacks/defends on a 2, and allows 1 infantry to also attack on a 2.
  • There is no weapons development process or building new Industrial complexes.
  • Fighters can escort bombers on strategic bombing raids, and enemy fighters can “dogfight” with them.
  • Russia can take control of allied units left in its land and control them.
  • There is a small struggle for the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
  • The Atlantic is dominated by German subs, until the power of America comes into play. Then it’s just a losing battle for the Germans on that side. But the main battle occurs on the border between Russia and Germany.

There are lots of big battles on that front. You have to win quickly as the Germans in this game, or else you lose.

Plays 2-4

Axis and Allies: Pacific

This version concentrates on the Pacific side of struggle. The map zooms in on that corner, and it includes a lot of islands, and parts of India and China. Pacific takes place right before Pearl Harbor. And as a nice twist, on the first turn, all Allied forces defend on 1’s. That includes Battleships and Fighters. Everything except China (which only has infantry, so it doesn’t make that much of a difference) is unprepared for the Japanese assaults. So Japan tries to cause as much havoc on its first turn as it can. Japan has a ton of troops, so its first turn takes a long time. So many different things you can do. Transport here, attack there, bomb this, sink that…

Japan is trying to get Victory points to win. They are trying to get 22 VPs before the Allies take Japan. Each 10 IPCs they get at the end of their turn is 1 VP. They can also win by taking and holding a capital city (India, New South Wales or the US). The United States are a formidable opponent. With its 75 IPCs per turn, it can field a large fleet quickly.

Similar to Europe, Pacific also incorporates Convoy Routes, and Dogfighting while strategic bombing. US Marines are worth 4, and attack on a 2 when they participate in an amphibious assault. China produces a few units per turn. UK has 2 bases – one in India, and another in Australia. They will try to hold off the might of Japan until the US can intervene. The game also includes things like kamikazes, island bases (let aircraft fly farther) and sea ports (let sea units move farther).

The game retains the main feel of Axis and Allies, but adds a whole new dimension to it. This is a must buy for A+A fans.

Plays 2-3

Check out Axis & Allies: Pacific here.

Axis and Allies: D-Day

D-Day incorporates cards into the game.

D-Day concentrates on 1 day and 1 small section of coast in World War II. The great D-Day landings. This game includes a lot of interesting features.

  • Germany gets blockhouses which fire on the landing zones.
  • There is no buying of troops – your troops come in a set order.
  • Only the Allies get an Air Force. Bombers pick a zone, and roll a single time for hits. Fighters patrol a zone, and then for each unit that leaves or enters, they get to attack it.
  • There are stacking limits per zone, and each battle in a zone goes through only 1 round of combat.
  • There is a set of Order Cards which determine the order of play, and what happens when. These work quite nicely. You just flip the card, and then it tells you what to do next. Basically it is just showing you the phases. After a few games, or a few rounds, you probably won’t need them anymore.

Advanced players can include Fortune and Tactics cards. With fortune cards you roll a die, and then if it’s a 1 or a 6, something good or bad happens (depending on your viewpoint). This roll happens before every order card. Tactics cards come after each order card, and the player mentioned on the card gets to decide when to use it. They can use it when it comes up, or decide to wait.

The Allies’ goal is to control 2 out of 3 of the Cities on the map. The Germans are trying to prevent this from happening. At the end of the game, usually there won’t be a lot of units on the map. Everyone has been wiped out. Because of the static setup, and the set reinforcements, this game holds a lot less replay ability than any of the other Axis and Allies series. D-Day changes almost everything about the main game, retaining only the figures and the stats for the land units. As the Allies, you are struggling getting off the beaches, and the Axis are trying to stem the flood, as the dodge bombs and strafing attacks. This is a fun game, but it doesn’t follow the original rules much at all.

Plays 2-3

Check Out Axis & Allies: D-Day here

Axis and Allies: Battle of the Bulge

And they incorporate hexes! That’s right, but it’s not your usual hex and counter war game. It’s a simple war game, dressed up as Axis and Allies.

Bulge is a mix of D-Day and a war game. Battle of the Bulge has no unit building, only set reinforcements. It has hexes, zone of control, supply tokens, roads and cities.

Each turn you activate supply tokens to activate the hexes and then you can move. Trucks are included which can move your units as far as you want on the roads. They help bring in your reinforcements faster.

The Zone of Control rules used in this game are simply if you move into a hex adjacent to an enemy unit, then you must stop. You never enter an enemy hex either. Like all standard war games, you move adjacent to them, and battle.

The game includes “front-line” markers which show you how far the bulge has progressed. You use these instead of control tokens, to determine how many cities the Axis has taken. It’s nice to watch the bulge grow, or shrink, depending on who you are.

The game doesn’t include the standard 6-sided dice. Now you get 12 12-sided dice. Each unit has an attack value, which indicates how many dice you roll for it. Rolls of 6 less counts as a hit. You pull out the unit strips (kept under the board) to the number of boxes which show the amount of the defending troops. Your hits are placed on the strips in order, counting down. If there is a “1”, put it in the first box, any “2s” go in the 2nd box, and continuing on, you distribute all the dice. If there are more than 6 defending units, you simply re roll your hits, and then place them in the boxes, wrapping around if need be. For every 1 die in a unit box, 1 unit of that type retreats. For every 2 dice in that unit box, 1 unit of that type is destroyed. Note that the defender doesn’t retaliate back. At least not yet. The initiative switches from player to player during the ground combat phase. Each player pays a supply token to attack 1 hex. They resolve it, and then other player can attack 1 hex. This continues until all units that you wanted to attack with have done so.

Battle of the Bulge is a very different system. It is now a simple war game, with Axis and Allies pieces, and some of the basic rules. But it is a completely new game. As the setup and reinforcements never change from game to game, it can feel a little “scripted”, more so than the standard Axis and Allies. Another fun game, and different enough to warrant another purchase.

Plays 2-2

Check out Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge here.

Axis and Allies: Guadalcanal

Each of the 3 “closeup” battles (D-Day, Bulge, Guadalcanal) change the game, give it a new twist and surprise us with its ingenuity. Guadalcanal doesn’t disappoint.

Players move simultaneously – Each unit type at time, player 1, then player 2. The 1st player switches every round. The 2nd player can choose to move out and not combat if they want, so they have a bit of power. But they must react to what the 1st player does as well.

Combat is divided into Air, Sea and Land Attack Phases. Each unit can participate in different phases. For instance, Air Units participate in all 3 phases, Artillery in the Sea and Land phases, Infantry in just the Land phase. Each unit has a different attack value or number of dice rolled for that combat phase.

For instance, Bombers have:

  1. Air Attack: 1
  2. Sea Attack: 2
  3. Land Attack: 2

There is a “battle box” where you put all the attacking dice in and roll. Each die is randomly assigned a “target”. If it is a 1 or a 2, then that unit is destroyed. In the final round you get to buy units. Each unit has a different cost, the costs being from about 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of them in the original game. Each island you own gives you 5 reinforcement points which are used to get more units. So there isn’t that static reinforcement chart from D-Day or Bulge.

The game includes Cruisers and Airfields as well. Airfields are built using supply tokens which have to be transported to the island, and are worth 1 VP each turn they are held. And that leads to the end game.

The first person to have 15 Victory Points wins. You can also get a VP for destroying a capital ship (Aircraft carrier or Battleship) of your opponents.

Plays 2-2

Check out Axis & Allies: Guadalcanal here.

Collectors 50th Anniversary Edition

This is the world edition, but it is for the real fans only. I haven’t played it yet, so I’m just going to list some new additions the game has.

  • A new turn order
  • Includes Italy, a new nation and China as a ‘minor’ power
  • Two different setup scenario options (2 different years)
  • More victory cities
  • National Objectives
  • Bigger, Redrawn map with more territories, (3-piece board)
  • Different Strategic Bombing routine
  • New Cruiser Unit, along with new costs for some sea units
  • More technologies

Plays 2-6 players

Best Dang Games Comment:

At the time of this blog post (4/30/2009), the Axis & Allies series is undergoing a reprint under a new name – Axis & Allies 1942. We are expecting this game to be available summer 2009 – but that is merely an estimate. Because of this, many of the different games in this series are going out of print. Please contact us directly if you are interested in one of these games so we can check current availability for you.

Also, regarding the Anniversary Edition, this game is out of print. There is a rumor that it will be an annual release – around the holiday season. Last year, there were two printings of it. During the holiday season, this game was our runnaway best selling game.

Which game of the system do you like the best? Join the conversation and let us know which ones and why.

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May 1, 2009 at 2:23 am 1 comment

Twilight Imperium Board Game – A Newbie’s Guide To Ruling The Galaxy

Author – Jeff Woods

Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition) is a board game of galactic conquest and strategy for 3-6 players. With the expansion, up to 8 can play, and rules variants are available for 2 players. It’s published by Fantasy Flight Games.

I have not owned Twilight Imperium very long, and have not played that many games yet. But, it is a game I truly enjoy, and you may as well. It’s not my intention here to go into a lot of detail about every part and every rule. I thought I would write down my thoughts, and why I already love the game, to help you decide if it’s the game for you.

What is Twilight Imperium (TI) all about, you may ask? TI is a massive strategy board game that takes place mostly in outer space. The ‘game board’ is actually a map of the galaxy made of hexes, and is different every time. Players play one of several galactic races trying to take over leadership of the galaxy. You do this through conquest, politics and even economics.

Twilight Imperium Is HUGE!

TI is a huge game, and not just in scope. If you’re considering getting it, make sure you have plenty of table space for the map, all the different cards, and areas for each player to keep track of his stuff. My 4-by-5 foot table is barely big enough for a 4-player game. This is not a light, “hey, let’s play something,” game, but an event that you need to plan for and set aside plenty of time. All the games I’ve played have taken at least four hours. If you’re playing with any optional rules (yes, there are plenty, and lots of markers/chits for those, too) plan for longer.

When you first open the box, be prepared to be overwhelmed. The amount of pieces and parts is staggering. You get map hexes, cards, plastic ships, markers for this and that, and a nicely put-together rulebook. But don’t worry about what to do first; the rulebook itself tells you what piece is what and how to organize things. The production quality of the parts is wonderful. The map hexes and various markers are made from high quality material, and are sure to last a lot of games. One note of warning here, though: the box itself has no dividers. Invest in some baggies, tackle boxes or a combination of both to keep everything organized.

Basic Play

Twilight Imperium is played in rounds, each broken into three phases:

  • The Strategy Phase
  • The Action Phase
  • The Status Phase

The Strategy Phase

During the Strategy Phase, players pick a strategy card that gives them some type of bonus for that round. You may be able to get a free technology upgrade, or resolve a political situation and change the rules of the game, among others.

The Action Phase

During the Action Phase, you move you ships, engage in combat, and play to the bonuses of your particular Strategy Card you picked.

The Status Phase

The Status Phase is mainly a book-keeping phase in which you check your score, repair ships, and ‘reset’ the board for action in the next round. While you’re taking your turn, other players are planning their next moves, trying to sabotage you, and bartering for political gain.

Everything Has A Cost

This is a game where everything you do has a cost. You have a limited number of Command Counters, which allow you to move your fleets, and take advantage of certain strategies. You have, or may not have, Trade Goods (the game’s currency) you can spend to either help build ships, research technology, or buy votes in the political arena. Planets you’ve taken over provide you with resources and influence, which you use to expand your fleets or vote in politics, respectively.

How Do You Win?

You win a game of TI, and leadership of the Galaxy, by achieving objectives, which are random and different every game. An objective could be a simple as controlling 10 planets, to more difficult, like controlling Mecatol Rex (the Capitol planet that’s always in the center of the galaxy) with a number of ships and ground forces.

Why Do I Like Twilight Imperium?

I really like this game because for me it has it all. I love science fiction, so to me the theme is golden. You have large scale space battles, planetary invasions, politics and lots of player interaction. Although it’s possible, it’s highly unlikely that a player is eliminated from the game. The map is random, as are the main objectives for winning, which makes every game different. Each Race that can be played has a different bonus, and adds a bit of role-playing. There is plenty of player interaction, with very little downtime between turns. Even though it can take a long time to play, there’s enough going on to keep most people interested.

Of course, what appeals to some can turn others off. As I said before, it’s a massive game that takes a long time to play. There are a lot of rules, and a lot of steps to accomplishing any goal in the game. If you don’t have the table space, or aren’t into a LOT of bits, this isn’t the game for you.

A Little Advice

Check out the rules (They are 44 pages long), then the FAQ section on Fantasy Flight Games’ website for rules clarifications. Then head over to Boardgamegeek.com and peruse through some of the excellent articles there. This is an expensive game, both in money and time. If you’re interested and trying to find buddies that you can play with, let your friends know it’s a little like Risk, but with politics and economics. Although combat and galactic war are big parts of the game, they’re the means to an end, and not the end itself. Although unlikely, it’s possible to win without firing a shot.

And for your first game, set a time to stop, and allow lots of mulligans as you interpret the rules.

Twilight Imperium is a great game for me. I can’t play it as much as I’d like because of the investment in time, but when I do, it’s an event that’s remembered.

You can also check out more information about Twilight Imperium here.

April 15, 2009 at 11:56 pm Leave a comment

New Axis & Allies Board Game Video Posted

If you like wargames and have not tried Axis & Allies, you are missing out on some classic WWII wargaming goodness.

In this video, Gary shares some basic information about what to expect if you pick up a copy of Axis & Allies, as well as provides a quick overview of the other games in the series.

This video is designed to introduce you to Avalon Hill’s Axis & Allies series and help you decide which one to get.

January 23, 2009 at 2:27 am Leave a comment

Axis & Allies: A Basic Strategy Guide for Beginners

Introduction

For experienced players of Axis and Allies (A&A), many of the moves and actions will seem either natural or scripted, particularly in the opening rounds.  There are certain actions that seem obvious to veterans of A&A.   Fortunately, the Revised Version of A&A has opened up the game to new tactics and strategies, and allows for a wider variety of opening moves.  At the same time, there are still some aspects of the game that new players do not grasp right away – so if you fall into this category then this guide to the basic strategy of A&A is for you.   At the same time, I hope that even experienced players can learn something.

General Strategy

Before we look at each country individually, it may be useful to sketch out a few basic suggestions that apply to each nation.  Specifically, there are three rules you should keep in mind: be ready to adapt, focus on IPC’s, and be efficient in your troop production and movement.

The first rule for A&A is less of a rule than a mindset; it is the realization that no plan is perfect.

The greatest skill you need to develop is the ability to adapt.  The dice are fickle – and sometimes no amount of strategy can help with bad rolls – and so it’s important not to get too fixated on one goal.  If you’re playing Germany, for instance, and you are mercilessly pressing towards Moscow, yet are getting nowhere (let’s say because the British are heavily reinforcing the Russians), this might mean that the Allies have weaknesses elsewhere that you might exploit.  Perhaps you can gain IPCs faster elsewhere – by invading a nearly empty India from Africa for instance.  Those IPC’s will give you the economic superiority to finally beat Russia later in the game.

This brings us to our second general rule: economic superiority is extremely important.

A&A is won primarily by who has the most money.  And to get money, of course, you need land.   You don’t have to hang onto land forever, however.  Beginners tend to spread their troops out in order to defend every country.  This is a serious mistake.  Bigger stacks of troops suffer fewer casualties on average, and so it’s dangerous to spread your troops thinly.  You’re much better off keeping major armies together in order to use them for counterattacks.   For your income levels, all that matters is that you control territory at the end of your turn, not at the beginning.  Only once you think you can hold a territory till your next turn is it worth putting a big stack at the front line.  The exceptions are of course capitals and territories that are worth significant amounts of IPCS.

Rule number three: buy your new units in such quantities that you can get them to the front line as quickly as possible.

Let’s say you’re Japan, and you start with 25 IPC’s.  There is no point in buying 8 infantry units because you don’t have sufficient transports to move them all right away.  Efficiency is the key.  Let’s say you’re Germany – unless you plan some really risky Blitzkrieg your first purchase will likely include quite a number of infantry, because they take longer to get to the frontlines against Russia than tanks.  Late in the game, when you are preparing a final push against a capital, you might buy a large number of planes, because by then other troops will not get there in time to help out.  This principle is self-evident when you think about it, but applying it consistently is the key.

From these general rules you can really tell the importance of economics.  In the next section – a detailed analysis of each nation’s strategies, with a special focus on opening moves – we’ll focus more on specific military strategies.

National Objectives and Strategies

Russia

Russia is in many ways the easiest nation to play, primarily because your options are somewhat limited.  You’ll never have a huge navy to worry about and you likely won’t have the resources to build up a big air force.  So what should you do?  In the original A&A the general strategy was to buy massive numbers of infantry.  This is still partially true for the revised version, although now you should invest some money in artillery, tanks, or (not my preference) planes.   These units allow you to counter attack in select places in order to slow down the German advance.  The war with Germany is primarily a war of attrition.  Since you go first, your best opening move is to straighten out your front lines by attacking West Russia with significant numbers of troops.  You might as well give up on Karelia, although you should leave at least one unit to avoid a German blitzkrieg.  Once you take West Russia you will have a very strong base to operate from and it will take Germany a turn or two to build up its forces against you.   On the East Front you should consolidate your infantry, although it’s not always easy to know what to do with them.  If you leave them on the coast you risk having them all wiped out quickly by a Japanese amphibious assault.  On the other hand, it may relieve some pressure from your Allies, because Japan won’t be able to attack everything on its opening turn.  You should note one particularly useful trick – if you do stick close to the coast you allow the possibility of an American bomber to destroy isolated Japanese transports and have a safe place to land.  This is a surprising move that will really annoy the Japanese!

Japan

In the Revised A&A, Japan has more of a naval force, so the question is what to do with it all.  Of course Pearl Harbor is a good option, and I strongly recommend that you take out those American ships before they come after you.  However, you also have a bigger British Fleet in India to worry about.  And then there’s the assault on the main land.  The first thing to realize is that you can’t do it all on your first turn.  If you try to destroy the Brits and the Americans on the same turn you’re risking disaster.   Pyrrhic victories are best avoided.  On your first turn you should make sure that at the very least you either buy a transport or a factory (to be placed on the mainland).  It’s key that you get as many troops on the mainland as fast as you can.  It’s also key that you put pressure on Russia soon.   Limiting Russia’s IPC’s will help Germany out tremendously.  Japan has much more breathing room, and so has a duty to help out her partner.

Attacking America is hardly ever a good idea.  Attacking is, however, different from putting pressure on her.  If the US is entirely focused on Western Europe then sending a few troops to Alaska will not only get you a few easy IPCs, but will further divert the attention away from Germany for a little while.   It’s like if you’re friend is being attacked by an angry bear and you help him out by prodding the bear in the back.  Of course you risk having the bear (America) come after you, but that’s not a bad thing if it takes a while for the Americans to build up forces and shift their attentions westwards.

One of the key things the Japanese need to watch out for is that they don’t lose naval and air superiority in the Pacific.  It’s very easy to get caught up in the easy victories on the mainland.  However, if both the British and Americans are building up their navies, then the Japanese should too.  The reason is that the Japanese are very vulnerable if they don’t control the sea.  If the Americans should get a toehold on some of the bigger islands they can build a factory and start pumping out the troops.  Given their economic superiority they will soon make life very difficult for the Japanese.  And once you’re behind in this naval race it’s almost impossible to catch up.

The United States

New players should almost always be assigned to play the United States.  The reason is that it’s the most forgiving nation – if you make a mistake it will not always cost you the war.  The big pitfall for America, however, is to try and fight the war on both fronts.  This is not generally an effective strategy.  Decide where you will help out and stick with it.  America’s opening move depends somewhat on how the Japanese fared on their turn.  If they made some mistakes or took some unexpected losses then it might be a good idea to put the pressure on them.  Most often, however, the American player will try to help out Britain in the Atlantic theatre.  A strong opening move is to start sending troops to Africa, and limit the German attacks there.  Watch out, however, because the Germans may have landed many of their planes in Western Europe or North Africa.  There’s no need to be too hasty.

What else can the Americans do?  Generally speaking building a factory in China is a bad move – you’ll be overrun by the Japanese before you know it.  Once you’ve got some troops in Africa and Britain has built up a bit of a navy you might start to send troops into Finland or Western Europe, depending on the German strengths there.  The main thing here is to figure out a consistent and fast way to get troops across.  If you have two waves of transports then you will always have troops arriving for action every turn.  That makes it more difficult for Germany to react.

If you do decide to attack the Japanese, the key is not to send a huge invasion force when you first send your navy in.  Take enough troops to conquer one of the major Indonesian islands.  Then build a factory on it – now you will have a base in the middle of the theatre of war.  With your economic advantage you will soon out-produce and outfight the Japanese.

Germany

Germany is easily the most difficult nation to play.  Particularly the opening turn is very difficult.  Generally speaking on your first turn you should at least set the following three objectives.

First of all, destroy the British fleet wherever you can reach it.  You should use most of your air-force for this task.  If you land your planes in Western Europe or northern Africa you will also be able to stave off early attacks from the Brits and Americans.

Objective 2 is Egypt: this is the gateway to Africa and you need to conquer it right away.  Try to send as many troops from Italy and Africa as you can.  The British will sometimes counterattack from India, so watch out.

Objective number three is to figure out your Russian campaign.  Send as many troops as you can afford east.  However, don’t send them right up to the front lines, as you’re not at a level of strength where you can hold the front against the Russians.  That time will come.  Make this a war of attrition.  It’s a matter of taking and retaking weakly defended territories and leaving a few troops to tempt the Russians into attacking.  If they send in too many troops then you can take out a major army next time.  If they persist with small battles then eventually you should be able to out-produce them and send in your built-up forces for the kill.

What else can you do with Germany?  Well, one strategy is to build an air-craft carrier in the Baltic to make life more difficult for the Brits.  I’m not too fond of this idea, but I have seen it work.  You should conquer major parts of Africa as soon as you can.  It’s almost inevitable that it will be taken back, but you need to get as many IPC’s out of it for as long as you can.  The main thing to remember for Germany is to have patience.  And be ready to adapt.  Often it’s Japan that finally conquers Russia.  If it comes to that time you may have to be ready to send your troops back to Germany to defend the capital and let Japan finish the job.

Britain

It can be frustrating to play the Brits because they’re scattered across the globe and their IPC’s dwindle quickly.  Let’s have a look at each theatre of war separately.  In Asia you have a number of options.  You can try to link up your navies, but you’re probably better off sending the Australian sub and transport eastwards to the Atlantic.  If you keep your Navy by India (for instance, if you build a factory in India) then you might send your fighter plane to take out the lone Japanese transport within reach.  This is a bit risky (if you misfire), but generally it’s a safe bet.  You might also try to retake Egypt, or you can withdraw your navy towards Madagascar.  A final option is to launch a suicidal attack against some of the Indonesian islands and isolated Japanese naval units.  I’m not a big fan of this strategy, but I have had opponents pull it off (with a lot of luck).

In terms of the Atlantic theatre, you should ferry your Canadian troops to England, and there you should begin building up a fleet and air-force.   Don’t be too hasty to take out the Baltic German fleet.  Most likely it won’t go anywhere, so build up your air-force to take it out in one fell swoop.  Having a large air-force with Britain is a huge asset.  It allows you help with the defence of Russia, and it gives you a good opportunity to do damage in the Indian Ocean.  In Europe you’ll want to steal IPC’s by taking and retaking Scandinavia and Western Europe.  Once you control the Baltic you might begin sending troops in to trouble Germany’s advance to Moscow.

Conclusion

So these are a few basic strategies for becoming a competent A&A player.  Not everyone will agree with me on each of these points, but I hope that the general thrust of this article is broadly acceptable.  Remember, however, that none of these rules is set in stone – there’s no fail-proof  way to win.  Only if you are able to adapt to changing circumstances will you start to win on a consistent basis.

Happy war gaming!

Buy Axis & Allies

December 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm 10 comments

Axis & Allies Anniversary Game Pre-Orders Blowing Up!

We all know there is a game that is supposed to be REALLY good coming out from Z-Man Games this month or next. That game is Agricola. The gaming community is just buzzing about it as the “Must Have” game this season.

But, let me tell you…there is another game worth looking at, especially if you are a wargame fan and are looking for a BIG game. Avalon Hill is releasing a special anniversary edition of Axis & Allies. This sucker is huge in size and has an Suggested Retail Value of $100. The original game runs about half that.

This game will come with three boards that slide together, about a gajilllion pieces, and the game box is so large that it is one per case. Usually large games (Tide of Iron, World of Warcraft, etc) come in cases of three or four.

We have already pre-sold four of them and I will keep getting more if you all keep ordering them. Also, oddly enough, this is one of the top search terms for people coming to our site.

I looked at the competition and we are in fact cheaper by almost $10 than some of the others. So, if you plan to get it, step right up and order one! I have a line on them.

Look for a video on the original Axis & Allies in September from us if you are not familiar with the game, but are curious about it.

August 1, 2008 at 8:45 pm Leave a comment


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