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Axis & Allies: Spring 1942
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Store:  War Games, Editor's Pick War Games
Edition:  Axis & Allies
Series:  Axis & Allies
Theme:  World War 2
Genre:  War & Combat
Format:  Board Games

Axis & Allies: Spring 1942

revised base game

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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 120-180 minutes 2-5

Designer(s): Larry Harris

Manufacturer(s): Hasbro, Avalon Hill

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Product Description

Axis & Allies celebrates its 25th Anniversary in August of 2009 with a new and updated edition of its original classic game. Axis & Allies: Spring 1942, designed and developed by Larry Harris, utilizes the updated rules established in A&A Anniversary Edition. Cruiser class ships make their debut in A&A 1942, forever changing the naval line-up. Newly sculpted playing pieces and all new packaging position this game as the cornerstone of the Axis & Allies game line for years to come. Decide the fate of a nation in a few short hours!

Axis & Allies: Spring 1942 details:

  • Rulebook updated by Larry Harris, creator of the Axis & Allies game system
  • Packaging, play components, and game board map feature updated art
  • 370 game pieces featuring refreshed sculpts plus new models for cruisers
  • Updated naval unit rules as debuted in Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Larry Harris

  • Manufacturer(s): Hasbro, Avalon Hill

  • Year: 2009

  • Players: 2 - 5

  • Time: 120 - 180 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,605 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is a domestic item.

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.1 in 35 reviews

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by Dylan
Must own
September 14, 2008

This game is great. I cannot wait for the anniversary edition. I hope that board is bigger. Why they keep making Axis on small boards is anyone's guess.

I have developed a strategy to take England on turn 2. If that is thwarted by Russia I can also put them in jeopardy very quickly. I also have the ultimate strategy that involves Japan taking the US, but I cannot tell you it because it is so good and so elusive. Unstoppable is the term. My US Pacific strategy is so good it's sick.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
The Mother of All Wargames
November 02, 2007

This new update of the classic Milton Bradley Axis & Allies game preserves nearly all the elements of the old game, while injecting a little more fun and variety into gameplay.

In my experience, the old version of A&A got repetitive with the game essentially hinging on the battle in one territory in eastern Europe: Karelia. If the Germans could seize and build up their forces in Karelia, the Axis player would win. If not, the Allies would eventually overpower the Axis.

The Avalon Hill update introduces some great improvements, including:

  • the division of eastern Europe into many more territories, making the massive land war there more interesting
  • a new, more brightly colored map which is more eye-catching
  • a new sea unit, the destroyer, which helps negate the effects of submarines
  • more IPCs (money) for most nations, giving you more purchase options
  • interesting (optional) national advantages for each nation, which let you customize the game or give handicaps to new players
  • nation-specific molds for each unit, which adds to the realism of the game

For newcomers to the game, do not be intimidated! The rules take a while to learn, but they are intuitive. The game takes at least 3 hours to play, but you can easily split it over the course of two nights. Then again, you'll be having so much fun, you'll probably just want to keep playing.

Just like the old game, the Allies still have the advantage, albeit a slimmer one. (Hint to the Allied player: Buy UK fighters and fly them to Moscow if the Soviets are in trouble.) But Germany and Japan are more powerful and more fun to play in this new version.

There have been many spinoffs from the A&A series over the years, but the (updated) original is still the mother of all wargames. I can't count the number of times I've played Axis & Allies with my friends. There simply is no better investment in a wargame.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
the best ever
August 13, 2005
This game is the best boardgame ever. I have been a boardgame freak since I was 5, and when the first edition came out I was impressed, but I thought there was some flaws that needed some work. When this game came out I think that all those flaws have been fixed. I bet that if you were to play this game then any other after that, you would think that this game was way better. This game was definitely worth the money I paid and is the best to come from the Axis & Allies series.
Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Great Improvements! Fun Again Classic! Must Own!
November 08, 2004

Okay, I loved the original, but as all people, I got bored with it. So I played all the followups which were great, but I missed the entire world scenario and the 5-player matches. When I heard about the new version, I was very excited but skeptical. Then I downloaded the rules, read the reviews, and bought the game.

A&A Revised is fantastic and it has become an all time favorite again, first the new pieces and the board are gorgeous, the game brings back memories of childhood and still excites when playing. The rule changes are fantastic and the addition of advanced rules and new pieces are great... I still would like to see fixed fortifications and airborne units and mobilized infantry like jeeps which move at 2, but those are minor details. I'm sure you can go online for a zillion variations. My only complaints, I wish the board was larger, especially the sea zones, and the cutouts are a little flimsy and cheap. I also wish we got some more pieces and chips.

Too bad, they didn't do a 20th Anniversary deluxe version, I would have bought it! The victory cities speed up the game and add some strategic variety rather than the old slugfest game, but I wish they had more of them for real variety of play, since more cities and more options allow for some deep strategic campaigning. The USA and Canada should also be split up more, Australia should be worth more and the Pacific should be expanded, otherwise the Pacific scenario is boring next to Europe and Island hopping is not necessary.

Still a great game and my favorite A&A and war game period!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Great Update but still leaning toward the Allies
August 23, 2004

This is a great update which was designed to make the game more even - in the previous edition the axis was destined to lose unless the allies made repeated and stupid mistakes and the axis made none.

Well now after spending most every evening for week working on the game with a friend we have concluded it is much better. Now the axis only has to be MOSTLY perfect to win. Its still loaded toward the allies, but now there is at least the posibility of an axis win. And that possibility makes the game very exciting to play if you are the axis.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Tank
July 23, 2004

this update is great like it any one fimilar with older version will like this update. new countries and new sea zones change the board for the better and the impassible spaces make it more challenging. Avalon hill made one great game even better. the national advantages helps if a strong player is playing weaker players and if you want a new game inside of this one turn all the advantages on for everyone. the new tech is great heavy bombers roll 2 dice instead of 3 and industry tech is replaced by destroyer tech great move plus being able to pick which tech to roll for is great

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
An impressive improvement on a great game
May 12, 2004

I always thought axis and allies was a fantastic game, but every time I played, a few minor problems irked me. Lack of replayability, uniformity of optimal strategies, and the fact that it was rarely worth it to buy big units (battleships, etc.) made it an imperfect, but still great, game. With this revised edition, they made the game nearly perfect. The strategies are much more fluid (with less obvious choices and more flexibility, and making battleships stronger, introducing destroyers, and lowering the price of fighters and carriers mean that the later stages of the game involve all the big guns, which makes the game way more exciting. They also did an excellent job of revising the rules to balance the game more evenly between axis and allies, and, on the whole, just made a game that is sufficiently different from the first one to make it worth re-buying, and sufficiently well revised to make it recommendable without reservation.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Greatest World War II Game made!
May 10, 2004

This game is a great simulation to a real war game. I love World War II and this game proves to be worth my team. This game lets you manage your movement and watch your allies and enemies in action. This game lets you manage your money stock and certain ways to attack. In this game you have to be militarily, politiclly sound as well as having a good savings in money. Defense for Russia is the key. Protect its borders!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Amazing revision to the greatest of wargames
March 30, 2004

AH did a great job remaking the WWII classic board game. Rules were changed to make the game more fair, territories added and split up to give the game more balance, new pieces were added, and much much more.

The board is beautiful. Very colorful, but with dark, and not so happy colors, because of the game being a simulation of the worst war in history.

Also, the pieces have recieved new, bolder colors so it is easier to tell the difference between Japan and the UK.

The only thing that I was dissapointed with was the lack of storage trays, but that is just a very minor dissapointment.

Great game! Much better than the first.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
A very worth addition to the Axis and Allies line!
March 19, 2004

I must confess that even though war games intrigue me, Ive never really been a big fan of them because of their (usually) massive rulebooks, and lengthy times it takes to play them. I usually would prefer to play a fun euro game that people of all ages and types would enjoy and have fun with. However, I am easily addicted to light war games especially those with plastic miniatures. This is especially the case with Milton Bradleys Axis and Allies probably one of the most famous light war games there is, now twenty years old. I cannot count the number of times I played the game and had fun as a kid but I remember battles, victories, losses, arguments, cheers, and many more memorable times that I will cherish. As I got older, I started to drift away, playing Axis and Allies only occasionally. Then I found the two new Avalon Hill games, Axis and Allies: Pacific, and Axis and Allies: Europe. Both of these games played far superior to the older edition, and I really enjoyed both of them.

Still, theres something about playing the entire war, spread out over the whole world that a theatre-specific game cannot accomplish. So when I heard that Avalon Hill was redoing Axis and Allies, designed by Mike Selinker with input from Lawrence H. Harris the original designer of the game, I was extremely interested. The thing that really piqued my interest was a fifteen article series that Mike posted at, the fifteenth week before the game was released. In those articles, he discussed in detail the changes that would be made in the game, and why those changes were made. The articles were fascinating reads (if the game interests you I highly recommend going there and perusing them), and they greatly increased my desire for the game. I was able to finally get my hands on a copy and with great enthusiasm, my gaming group (all big fans of the Axis and Allies series) dove in. And to our delight, the game was a hearty success. Aside from a few quibbles about component production, the rule changes are fantastic, and I think that Mike and the guys at Avalon Hill have injected a longer life in this classic war game.

The changes are very many, and although basic game play is the same, there are so many altercations that games play out quite differently. If you havent played the game before, let me tell you that its a light war game, based on the Second World War, and has two players take the sides of the Axis: Japan and Germany, and three others the Allies: Russia, USA, and Great Britain. If youre looking for basic game play, look around the web, and youll find entire rule sets and summaries. In this review, Ill concentrate on the changes made in the revised edition, although I still wont list them all, as they are rather numerous. So here are some of the changes some of the important, others minor, that have been implemented in the 2004 A&A edition.

- Tanks now defend at three, instead of two, making them much more powerful.

- Japan, Germany, and the USA start with quite a bit more money.

- Transports can now carry one infantry, plus one other unit even a tank.

- Neutral territories can no longer be entered, and there are more of them.

- A country can now try to research a specific weapons development, rather than taking one randomly.

- Battleships take two hits before being sunk.

- Artillery and destroyer units were both added to the game.

- Even in home territories, the amount of units built there cannot exceed that territorys IPC value.

- Submarines can now pass through hostile zones.

- Both attacking and defending submarines now have first strike, due to a streamlined combat sequence.

- There can be more than one anti-aircraft gun in a territory, even though only one can shoot.

- Fighters and aircraft carriers are cheaper, costing 10 and 18 IPCs respectively.

- Industrial Technology has been replaced by combined bombardment, which allows destroyers to bombard land, just like battleships.

- Heavy Bombers now only roll two dice per bomber rather than three.

- There are now twelve cities on the board Los Angeles, Washington D.C., London, Calcutta, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Leningrad, Manila, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Players pick between three different victory conditions a minor victory, which requires a side to control 8 cities by the end of the round, a major victory, which requires 10 cities, and total victory, which requires all twelve cities to be controlled.

- Optional rules include six different advantages that can be had for each country. They can be chosen, or rolled up randomly as long as each power has the same number. Examples of these advantages include: Mobile Industry (which allows the Russians to move their industrial complexes), Wolf Packs (which gives German submarines in groups of three or more a +1 to attack), Colonial Garrison (which allows the United Kingdom to place an additional industrial complex at game start, Banzai Attacks (which allow Japanese infantry to attack at an attack value of two, as long as only infantry were attacking), and Mechanized Infantry (which allowed US infantry to move two spaces and blitz like tanks.)

- The mapboard has undergone a massive change, both in look, and in territories. There are many, many changes, but the most notable are the addition of Central US territory, the Sahara desert, more German territories, and more, distinct sea zones.

There are several other changes, but most of them are minor, and only serve to help the aesthetics of the game, or streamline game play. For example, the blowup maps of the old board have been removed and replaced with cards and corresponding markers that can be placed on the board. There are enough changes that a person can look at the game and not immediately recognize it for what it is.

Some comments on the game

1.) Components: Some of the components are of very high quality, yet I have some irritation at some of Avalon Hills choices. The army miniatures are very well done, and each country has unit types that are unique to that power each tank model is different, etc. This is just like A & A: Pacific and Europe, and I really like it. What Im not a big fan of is the colors. The colors have all changed albeit the Germans and US just a little. The lime-green color of the Brits (limeys?) is a strange choice, as well as the burnt orange shade of the Japanese forces. Not only this, but the amount of pieces is fairly limited, so that if I want to supplement my game from other sets the mismatched colors almost make it impossible. There are also not enough plastic chips in the game not a problem for me, as I have a whole bin of them, but could be a problem for first timers to the series. What irritated me the most about the components was the box which was small, and had no plastic insert, and no bags. This is frankly very poor taste on Avalon Hills part, and I must scold them for such thoughtlessness. When you proudly include 399 pieces in a game, you should provide a place to store them! The box is attractive, and easy to fit on a shelf but for a BIG game such as this, I wouldnt have minded a bigger box.

2.) Other components: The board, with such a massive upheaval, is really nice looking. The entire thing has been redesigned, and the colors changed I think for the better. Its smaller, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I wish that they had made it bigger say the size of an Eagles board game, but this is a minor quibble. The battle board and other table are all very well designed, and are thinner than before but didnt find this to be a problem. The only time I was annoyed about how thin something was were the territory chips for each country. They were almost paper-thin, so I glued them to the back of the chips from the first game, and now I have nice, duel-sided thick territory chips.

3.) Rules: The whole rulebook ahs been redesigned also, and its very comprehensive and extremely well written. There are thirty-nine pages, but they are filled to the brim with illustrations and a full-blown example, with excellent, easy-to-read formatting, so I dont think most people will have a problem with the game. One thing that really pleased me was a four-page pamphlet explaining all the changes from the original Axis and Allies, with the reasons for those changes. This is really all an experienced player will need, and makes a good quick reference. The game may take a bit to explain to a new player, but those who played the old version should have no problem picking it up in a hurry.

4.) Gripes: If you surf the web and read comments on the new Axis and Allies, you will find, especially on pages dedicated to Axis and Allies, many complaints and gripes about the new game, and how they didnt do this right, or added this stupid rule. Well, I havent had the pleasure of playing 1,000 + Axis and Allies games like these folk (I also enjoy other games), but let me assure you I have absolutely no problem with any of the rule changes, and indeed found that ALL of them enhance game play. I have to laugh when I read essays that say on turn one, Germany should attack such and such a territory with so many forces.on turn seven, Russia should be in this territory, and should buy this much. Axis and Allies is a great, fun game. But if you play the game so many times that the optimal strategies allow you to know whats going to happen next then I think you should probably get out more. For the rest of us the MAJORITY of us we will enjoy the game, because we will play it at most once a week, and it will be new and exciting to us each time.

5.) Optional Rules: Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the optional rules. They ensure that the strategies employed by each country would vary from game to game. For example, one such rule had Englands and Americas IPCs drained according to how many German subs were on the table. This ensured that the German player would build a lot of subs something they normally might not do. I thought that all the optional rules added not only historical flavor but something I really desire in board games diversity.

6.) Changes: People often resist change, and this game is going to be no exception for many. But to those I say try it out! Youll probably really enjoy it, as every change was made for a good reason. Let me discuss some of them, and how they affected the game.

- The tanks defense raising to three was a huge change in the game, and really helps offset the fact that many players buy tons of infantry. Now tanks will be bought (as well as artillery), making choices more varied. In play, this really made tanks a worthwhile choice to buy.

- Aircraft carriers and fighters were nice to have, but rarely bought because they were vastly under-priced. Now that they are much cheaper, more of them are seen in games, again adding to the variety.

- Submarines became much more useful and powerful, being able to move through enemy ships and allowing them to fire first even when on defensive. Yet at the same time, the addition of destroyers also helped out tremendously to balance them out.

- Developing weapons always seemed like a crap shoot in the old version you spent money and hoped you got something good. Its still a gamble in the new version, but at least you can pick a technology that your country can use more effectively. And all the technologies are balanced now, so that they all are highly wanted.

7.) Time and Players: The game plays just as well from two to five, but the time needed to play the game has changed quite a bit with the addition of victory cities. Im not sure why anyone would want to play an epic game where they humiliate their opponents, crushing them and their egos into the ground, but I can often see where a minor or major victory would be played. Eight cities seem to take around two hours, a reasonable time, although it seems to give the slightest edge to the Axis. 10 cities take much longer and give more bonuses to the stalwart Allies.

8.) Fun Factor: Axis and Allies is fun in all the forms Ive played it in. I liked Europe better than the original, and Pacific more than that. But now I think that I like this new version the best because fighting on a global scale is the most interesting, and allows the most options. We had a blast playing the game, trying out new strategies, working with the optional rules, trying out all the changes. The game looks fantastic on the table, and shouts of outrage and joy were heard by all when those dies just would not obey our wishes!

As you can probably tell, Im a fan of the game. I probably wont play it more than once a month but will probably often get roped into a game of it, as many guys really like games such as this. If you liked the original Axis and Allies game, then this is a must buy for you. If youve never played it, then I highly urge you to try this very fun, interesting, original game out. Quibbles with the components aside, its a real pleasure to see a large company taking care to put out quality, fun games such as this and Im even more excited now to see that a line of smaller battle Axis and Allies games are planned. If the company keeps up their fantastic repertoire with the customers, such as the articles Mike wrote and his and Larrys active involvement on forums on the internet, I think the future is very bright for Axis and Allies fans!

Tom Vasel

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
The war within the child
March 03, 2004

wow. been playing since 4th grade- adapted from garage rules to now 'official' rules. A game could not bring the world together being at war more. With the roll of the die anything can happen.....I feel allies have upperhand but axis can make it interesting. I dominate this game so i do say AA is in my favor if you go up against me. have fun playing. it's a great game

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Todd
Greatest Strategy Game
December 08, 2003

For all the complaints about the time commitment involved to play this game, my friends and I have found a solution. Buy both the board game and the PC version. Thus while the guy who's turn it is plays on the computer, the rest of us plot strategy on the larger boardgame version. Much more fun and less time consuming.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
January 20, 2002

A&A is a game that you will love to play again and again (if only there were more hours in a day). I recommend to the guy who is still playing with his paper money to go to the store and buy some 'play money' and use the COINS in place of the IPC notes as they are infinitely more durable. I would also recommend that you purchase at least 2 additional colors of chips to help eliminate the monstrous stacks that usually build up in Germany and Russia (I have white-1, yellow-2, red-5 and black to indicate 10 units). We play this game so much that we scanned the board and enlarged it, then we reassembled the larger board onto a piece of thin plywood and varnished it... It is SOOO much easier to place units now. I wish Milton Bradley would come out with a limited edition with maybe a nice 'roll-out' leather? gameboard which would be at least 150% larger than the included cardboard one. This limited edition set could also maybe use plastic 'bullion' pieces as IPC's (say platinum, gold, silver, copper), the paper money usually dies a terrible death fairly quickly. This limited edition would of course include at least 4 different colored 'chips' to be used as indicators of numbers of troops. Last but not least, this Limited Edition set should eliminate some of the 'blow up boxes' that never seem to be used (wouldn't need them since board is bigger). Anyhow, this game is an excellent way to kill an afternoon and have fun doing it.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Ryan
A Classic!
May 29, 2001

I bought Axis & Allies when it first came out in 1987 and I've been playing it ever since. There are not many games that a person can play on a fairly regular basis for almost 15 years and still find it as challenging and as fun as the day he got it, but that is exactly the case with Axis & Allies. It is, quite simply, a classic strategy game.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it is a World War II strategy game set at the Axis high water mark in 1942. The Axis countries represented are Germany and Japan while Britain, the USSR, and the USA represent the Allied powers. The first side to capture 2 enemy capitals is the winner. There is a rule to win with economic victory, but I personally have never played with this rule--it's not quite as satisfying to make a mad scramble for IPC's ('dollars') as it is to crush your opponent by marching into his capital (Patton would NOT approve). As for the rest of the game, the board is a map of the world divided into different territories, each with a country of ownership (or neutral) and a value in IPC's. The combat pieces are divided into 3 types of units: Air (bombers and fighters), land (infantry and armor), and sea (battleships, carriers, submarines, and transports). There are also industrial complexes (factories) and AA guns, which have some special characteristics in the game. Combat is dice-based, with different units attacking and defending at different values. The combat system is fairly streamlined and abstracted, so it's pretty easy to figure out.

As for the qualities that make this game a classic, I can think of three. First, it is an excellent balance of simplicity and strategy. There are a myriad of choices each turn for each player. Buy tanks or troops? Planes or subs? Attack Germany in the Ukraine, or bomb Japan in Manchuria? Maybe you're preparing for that big amphibious invasion of Western Europe, or maybe you're frantically trying to shore up your defenses in your capital as enemy tanks come knocking on the door? Because the rules are so 'clean,' the options are easy to understand, but the decisions are still excruciating to make.

The second reason this game is a classic is the group dynamic involved in the game. This game is best played with all five countries controlled by different players. This creates tension between allies as each country seeks to defend itself but also help out its allies. The USSR always wants the British and Americans to open the 'second front' in the West while Germany and Japan find cooperative efforts complicated by simple geography. No matter who your allies are in the game, they'll never do exactly what you would like them to do on every turn, and this makes for some fun, if not frustrating, table-talk. (E.g. 'For crying out loud, attack the USSR from Manchuria already, my assault on Moscow has stalled.' Reply: 'Easy for you to say, I've got my whole Pacific fleet tied up fighting the US right now. I can't spare the planes or transports.')

The third factor that makes this game a classic is replayability. It's never the same game twice. Well, maybe if you play a rookie it is (they tend to make the same kinds of mistakes), but overall, you can never plan on the same strategy working the same exact way every time. In the 19th century Helmuth von Moltke stated that, 'No plan survives contact with the enemy' and that couldn't be more true with Axis & Allies. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone throws a monkey wrench in the machinery by buying fighters when they 'should' have bought infantry or your opponent destroys your entire invasion force with one determined infantry unit--thanks to a couple of fortuitous rolls--when your numerically superiour forces 'should' have wiped him out. For players of approximately the same skill, this game is a dogfight that can go on for hours and hours. The minutes just seem to melt off the clock and before you know it, it's five hours later and you've only gone twice.

For the reasons mentioned above, I still enjoy Axis & Allies to this day. I am seriously considering investing in the Axis & Allies Europe and Axis & Allies Pacific games. If they're half as good as the original (and some say they're better!) they're well worth the money. As it it is, I suspect I'll keep on playing the original Axis & Allies for a long time. A few of my pieces are MIA now (the vacuum cleaner incident of '89), the board is faded, the money is pretty tattered, and I'm still using the first edition rules that came with the game (I cringe when someone tells me I can't build 3 infantry on Australia), so maybe it's time I bought another copy of the game to replace it... Nah, I think I can get another 14 years out of this one.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
The Best Strategy Game Ever
March 10, 2001

If you like games like Chess, Risk, and Stratego then you will love Axis & Allies. This is The Mothership of Strategy Games. The only downsides would be the time it takes to play and the complexity of the game. It is a shame they don't make this game as much.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
incredible war game
February 15, 2001

Axis & Allies ranks as my favorite board game of all time. Like stated in other reviews, it is a step above Risk, requiring a lot more skill and long-term planning than luck of the dice. A veteran can easily defeat a novice in 2 hours of play, but when several vets get together, this game can go on, literally, for days, as they each take their time to strategize and form secret plans with their allies to win. Also, it is easy to modify the rules to speed up gameplay, escalate battles, and intensify the frustration of your opponents. If you like Risk and chess, you'll find this game an excellent culmination of the best of both.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by TheGreatGame
Simple, but Strategic
April 07, 2007

I played A&A Pacific 4 years ago, but it could not satisfy me. This is because war field in only near asia, so I tried to but A&A original. However, many people said that it's game balance is not good. In this reason, I gave up buying A&A.

However, I heard A&A Revised came out and its reputation was good. As a result, I bought this one and played.

After few plays, I satisfy this game. I thought that this would depend on dice luck so much. It was somewhat true, but there are also strategies about options where I attack, which tech I develop and so on. In addition, when I play this game, I feel like a real general in the WW II. This means that this game make situation in the WW II well.

I recommend this game, especially on war lovers and strategic game manias.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
August 12, 2004

Well I find this game really addictive!!

Having played both versions I say this one is much more agressive due to the new rules and units and spetially, due to the fact that Moscow is one territory away from the germans which makes the beginning of the game really fierce!

I have to take one star because there are few units (366 may seem a lot but it's not), the IPC get damaged really fast and the first moves are allways the same.

Anyway it's an excelent strategy game (much better than risk I say!!) and a good entertainment=)

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Kind of like the VW Beetle.
July 27, 2004

And I don't just mean that it is a war game for the masses. The older model is a classic. The new version was completely redesigned for the better yet it is still unmistakably a Beetle.

Three years ago I would have given the Revised A&A 5 stars. Since I have discovered modern German games I hesitate to rate it as a superior game. It is still hampered by the rigid and semi-complex turn order sequence which is a hallmark of old-style war games. It also has too much downtime and is a dice-fest. However, for me it is a Must-Have with a capital M.

This is one game I feel confident enough to rate after one play. As a long time Axis and Allies fan I have to give kudos to the crew at the new Avalon Hill. This is a very well done remake.

Destroyers and artillery are tried and true improvements from the Europe and Pacific versions of the game. Prices of units have been adjusted so that the end game is not just tanks and infantry on land and subs and transports in the ocean (hopefully). More spaces have been added to the Eastern European portion of the map which leads to some varied tactics being viable between the Russians and Germans. Certain spaces are impassable (Sahara, Himalayas, and Neutral countries) which adds realism to the game. There are no 'blow up boxes'. There are other changes most of which are improvements, the others don't affect play much.

This is not the usual game reprint with cleaned up rules and a few rule tweaks. This game has been stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up. Still, if you didn't like the original A&A you probably won't like the new version. If you did like the original the new version is a 'must have'.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Will
Superb war strategy.
December 09, 2003

One of the greatest strategy games ever.Would be virtually flawless if it weren't for the combo of now fighter interception on bombing runs and the improvement of super bombers. This can be fixed with just an institution of the rules from 'Axis and Allies : Europe' or just buy that game, both a worth the investment.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Kevin
A great game, but you better have all day.
August 11, 2003

I bought axis and allies after hearing several good reveiws and looking to try a strategy game that actually involves strategy. While it is true that some of the first moves are pretty much the same, strategies vary quite a bit later in the game. I read a review where someone said they liked risk more and wanted less luck-based games, but um, isn't that self-contradictary? He prefers risk, where all you have to do to win is roll high numbers? At least in axis and allies you don't have to roll better than your opponent to succeed, and all the different unit types add much strategic depth. For those of you who think axis always wins, you're wrong, and for those of you who think allies always win, try playing with some of the rule variations included in the latest edition of instructions, also avalible online. Okay, i'm done venting now. I'll finish up by saying the only thing bad about axis and allies is that it takes about a half an hour to learn and several more hours to play.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Why, oh why, do I like this game
June 23, 2003

I don't know why I like this game, but I keep coming back to it since I first bought it about 15 years ago. A&A was the first game that I owned that wasn't standard American fare (i.e. Risk, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, etc.) The game is too long (it has never lasted less than 5 hours), players wait too long between rounds, the first few moves are always the same and it is tough to find opponents with enough time and desire to play.

On the other hand,........Well, on the other hand I like it.

It is no coincidence that the strategies that work well in the game were the ones used in real life. A Japanese attack on Hawaii is a must, Germany and Russia are at each other's throat, Britian and America must open a second front to keep Russia in the game while keeping Japan in check. The Allies need to work together to win and it certainly doesn't hurt the Axis to coordinate strategy, although less coordination is needed.

The game is well balanced, despite the fact that many complain only the Axis can win. Others swear that only the Allies can win. I believe this is proof of how well balanced the game is. Personally, I have no preference. I can win playing either side and I enjoy kicking butt on someone who insists that one side can't win..... Come to think of it, maybe that is why I like this game.

A good game to dig out once a year.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Reed C
One of the best ever, if you have time
December 30, 2002

I've enjoyed this game for years. The strategy and play is intense. I've found myself writing pages of opening strategies. Blows away Risk. It is not perfect however. I've lost a best friend arguing over the rules, which can get complicated and up to interpretation. Also, the game usually lasts 5 hours, so it is dang difficult to get a commitment out of friends to play now that we have real jobs and families.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
A major breaktrough, but not as real as....
April 26, 2001

As I was 10 years old I started playing this game with my brother. We played it for years and years, until there was A&A Europe and.... World at War. The game concept of the original A&A was great & original. A breakthrough in gaming. But as you watch the game historicly, I have to say lacks a lot. It's too easy (even with veterans) to take India and China with the Japanese. As it is with Germany to take Russia, especialy when the Japs are invading the East and South. England and the USA have to rescue Russia, witch is hard when all your factories are way too far and your new factories produce too low. It's a chalange to fight with the Allies in a game with veterans.

Another thing: Europe is devided in 4 zones, which are too low. But I guess you'll find that out by yourself and your friends. It's a masterpiece to start with. If you are seeking the real thing try Axis & Allies: Europe or (try this one baby!) the World at War (by Xeno Games). It's the real thing! By the way, that's an expansion for A&A, so try A&A first, you'll have fun, If you get it, then go play World at War. Or Europe, or...

I am waiting for Axis and Allies: Pacific. This game promises to be ROCKING. But I'm from the Netherlands, so I guess I can wait for about 2 months.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Not a simulation, but a helluva lotta fun.
November 29, 2000

Axis & Allies is an excellent game for gamers who are ready for that next step up from Risk and the like. Rules are designed for 2-5 players; the more, the merrier.

Situation. The game starts nominally in 1942 at the high-tide of Axis expansion (although there are no scales as to time or unit size). The USA, UK, and USSR players are teamed up against Germany and Japan.

Forces. Each country can build infantry, armor, bombers, fighters, aircraft carriers, battleships, submarines, transport ships, factories, and anti-aircraft units. There's a lot of ahistorical flexibility in production; for instance, the USSR can build aircraft carriers if it chooses, or the Japanese could build lots of armor to rampage across Asia toward Moscow. Generally, the more powerful the unit, the higher its production cost. Game pieces are handsome molded plastic figures; first rate.

Playing board. The entire global map (save the Arctic and Antartic) is divided into land and sea territories. Most non-neutral land territories have production values expressed in points. It's mounted, very colorful, and quite functional.

Action sequence

  1. Develop weapons and/or Purchase Units
  2. Combat movement
  3. Combat
  4. Non-combat movement
  5. Place new units on the board
  6. Collect income

Victory conditions. The Allies must capture both Axis capitals. The Axis must either (1) capture 2 of the 3 Allied capitals, or (2) push their combined Production Levels to 84 points.

Movement. Players can move all or as many of their units as they choose each turn, within the ranges specified for each type of unit.

Combat. Resolved on a separate battle board. Dice are rolled for each unit and compared to their respective firepowers; if the roll is equal to or less than the combat value of the unit, it kills a unit on the other side of the battle.

GAME VALUE. Axis & Allies does not simulate the actual campaigns of the Second World War. However, basic concepts of mid-20th Century warfare are abstractly recreated: the ascendency of air superiority; industrial production planning; island hopping in the Pacific; massive armored battles on the Eastern Front; etc. Because natural terrain barriers (e.g. mountain ranges, major rivers, deserts, dense jungles) have no impact on movement or combat, battles will take place in the most unlikely places, such as Central Asia.

But this game is a lot of fun for novices and veteran wargamers! It provides more strategy and tactics than Risk, yet it is not so complex that players spend more time in rulebooks and cumbersome charts than they do rollin' dice and conquering turf.

It's really wild and wooly, so don't take it too seriously--just enjoy it! But you'd better give yourself about 3-4 hours to play this gem.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
One of the best Strategy Board Games!
April 02, 2000

I would say, Axis & Allies is one of the best board games.

I played it a lot times with my friends in Germany and we always had a lot of fun. The only way to win in this game is tactic, useful allies and luck.

Luck is probably the only reason why I gave the game 4 Stars, because you sometimes have the best chances to win a battle, but then the dice will mess it up for you!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Slight Variations
November 10, 2006

It is essentially the same Axis and Allies game as the original, with updated artwork and a couple new units. It is as always a game teachable to newcomers. Faults are the lengthy set up time and long playing time. If you are not someone who can afford to spent 3 or more hours with a table dedicated to the game, this may not be the game for you. On the bright side combat is simple, the rules also are simple. The only complaints I hear are no veteran player wants to play as the Russians; little money and must invest in infantry until other allies can help out, so playing a limited defense is quite boring. Also the luck of the dice can cause even the best laid plans go awry. Everyone who has played can cite at least once that they were playing and one guy, no matter how much the odds were in his/her favor could not win a critical battle that turned the tide of the game. Pieces as always are detailed and good quality.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
A Must Have
December 16, 2004
Revised is not the same old game. New pieces, new map, new cost to items and quite a few rule changes make this game a new experience. The new map allows for many different scenarios in which the game can change everytime you play. The National advantages for each nation gives the game some "uniquness" that lacked in the previous edition. This is a must have for anyone who enjoys the world war II era or wargames in general.
Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Production quality is low
March 26, 2004

I have played A&A forever. I know that this is a fine addition to the series. My comment is regarding the production quality of the product. It's low and that's why I gave it 3 stars only.

Fistly, Avalon Hill (AH [Hasbro]) has left out the plastic tray that had come with A&A-Europe and A&A-Pacific. In fact, there is no storage mechanism at all, not even styrofoam a la original A&A.

All cardboard-based pieces, such as markers, cards, the battle board, etc. are made of a thinner and much lower quality cardboard. They won't last long at all. Also everything is single sided with the bare cardboard on the reverse--real ugly.

Even the included AH catalog is a small single page flyer. It shows that there were some young bean counters attending meetings, eager to show their worth by showing how money can be saved. You can sense the talk about ROI and unit price.

The graphics, however, are excellent all 'round. Though, they're wasted being printed on such crappy card stock.

In summary, fans will buy the game anyway for the intellectual content and will have to swallow the pill of a low-grade product.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Sounds good, but unfair!
March 25, 2003

This game is very enjoyable when played with a group of experienced players. A major problem with this game is that it is inherently unfair. If playing to IPC victory the Axis will almost always win and if playing to world domination the Axis will win a good 75% of the time. The reason for this is almost scientific. The Axis have Germany which is their main powerhouse. Japan does not lag to far behind and, if played cleverly, can be the most important power on the map. The Allies, however, lack a single dynamo. The Soviets are too busy defending themselves while the UK is just trying to scrape by holding their empire together and supporting Russia and the US. The US, the closest thing the allies have to a powerhouse, starts off weak and vulnerable. If the Japanese make an all-out attack to the USA, the USSR and UK will be left alone to fight the Nazis, a battle that they cannot win. Final Verdict: A fun game, but not good if you enjoy diplomacy or other 'fair' games.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Extremely good for a lengthy war game
September 06, 2001

Unlike the previous reviewer, we've played this game since it came out in the late 70s/early 80s (then by Nova Games). The original version was a good deal better, as each country had a special attribute which others did not possess. But the components were really horrid.

So, when Milton Bradley picked up the game and made nifty plastic pieces, we expected great things. But what we got was a watered-down version of our old favorite Axis & Allies. It's still good, mind you, but it's in no way special, except that you get to roll lots and lots of dice for a long, long time.

If you like conflict games and don't mind playing for a while doing little more than rolling dice, then this and [page scan/se=0033/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Risk are right up your alley.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Good but not great.
November 12, 2007

A&A is a fantastic game if you can buy the older version and play it a couple times then play this. The board is done very well and the new design of the pieces is awesome.

The problem is poor quality and not enough pieces.

A&A has the potential to have extreme situations where the Germans could literally have carriers in the Pacific or the Russians might have massive air bombardment battles. The Russians are only given two bombers! The Germans were only given two carriers. I have played many times with the original game and needed the additional parts that came with the original.

The new version comes with unequal amounts of parts for the belligerents. Not only that but I had slightly to heat my German aircraft carriers over the burner on the stove so I could bend the curve flat so it could sit flat on the playing board.

In addition to that, some of my tanks had the barrels gone or breaking off.

I find all of this annoying because I had none of these problems with A&A Europe nor Pacific.

In conclusion the rules and gameboard are great improvments but you'll want the spare parts from the other A&A games to have a functioning set.

By the way Avalon Hill... is a styrofoam tray too much to ask for?

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Not bad, but not the end all, be all of war games either...
February 26, 2003

I originally came to Axis & Allies as an experienced Risk player, and I assumed that A&A was simply a slightly more in-depth Risk styled game...which is very much the case.

A&A has a great historical feel, and decent components. The rules are fairly in-depth, but I wouldn't feel uncomfortable explaining this to people who are used to playing standard fare American games either.

This said, the board, though large, is much too small in many areas for the amount of troops that build up, especially around Germany, and I echo earlier sentiments that a larger board should be at least made available.

The pre-determined stance and strategy of your country can also take away from the game, with the first few moves being almost necessary to avoid having Germany start rolling through the mainland.

Initially, I thought the game was going to be better than Risk for the increased depth, but the more I played it the more I realised that the game, while adding new dimensions, is actually less fun than Risk because of the straight-jacket that seems to be put on you in terms of viable strategy as there's very little room for new wrinkles in the basic game play.

The game is also long, even by American standards. Explaining the game to casual gamers will be decently easy, keeping them at the table for 5 hours plus is not. And though it'd be easy to get experienced gamers to sit down for that long, why would you want to when other, more in-depth and less luck based games are available?

If you're looking to kill a few weekends then I'd suggest looking elsewhere.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Same game every time
October 28, 2001

This game is enjoyable for the first few times it is played. It does take some time to set up, though. It is also interesting to see that many of the better strategies mimic the actual historical events. But the strategies to deploy are where the game breaks down. Each country is designed to initiate one strategy. After playing the game for a while, you know what each country is going to do. So the game comes down, not to who has the best strategy, but rather who is the luckiest dice roller. Even worse, if you step back and really look at what is going on during the game, you can see that the game boils down to just two of the countries involved, Russia and Germany. Therefore, if you are playing with more than two people, those extra people have very little effect on the game's outcome. They are just there to clean up the mess unless they, too, are unbelievably lucky with the dice.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
not much chop
November 14, 2001

I don't like this game. It's slow and tedious and also suffers from what many games of its type suffer from: similar starting strategies. I don't know why it's so popular at all. I'd rather play [page scan/se=0033/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Risk or History of the World, so I was quite surprised to see it getting such a high review rating.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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