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Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition» Forums » News

Subject: Good First Strategic War Game? rss

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Mike Frantz
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Wenatchee
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Ok, I realize that folks posting here are going to be mostly hardcore A&A's players, but the number of posts talking about imbalanced sides, unstoppable strategies, etc. has me a little concerned. I suspect that I will be getting this game for Christmas. It was on my list because I love the idea of a playable strategic level WWII game for me to play with friends and hopefully with my son (eventually..he's 9 and I have him reading some Stephen Ambrose to get a little WWII history understanding). I figured A&A had been around so long that by the time this edition came out they must have worked out all the kinks. I'm suprised by the number of posts regarding broken strategies....what's going on? Is this something to worry about or is it something that I will 99.9% not come across unless I become a master level player.

FYI I have tried Europe Engulfed and just found the rules overhead to be too much. I am primarily a Euro player, but every once in a while I'm lured to the games with a larger scope.
 
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Greg Denysenko

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My first war game- 25 years ago- and still like pulling it out time and time again. It is fairly easy to learn, and should provide you with countless hours of enjoyment. Don't let the hard core guys sway you!
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Jim Patching
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I agree with Greg. Axis and Allies makes a great entry way into strategic wargames.

I think the strategies that are being discussed, whilst they may well work, are really quite counter-intuitive and more than likely aren't the sort of things that will crop up in games for newbies. They also seem to somehow go against the spirit of the game too. I play Axis and Allies to re-tell the story of world war 2, not to see how quickly I can make the game end using cheesy (not the right word but I can't think of a better one) manouvers.
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Mike Frantz
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Ok...I'm feeling better about the choice. I've tried hard not to read the specifics of the "unstoppable" strategies...just tried to follow the responses a bit to see if they were debunked or at least shown to have possible counters.

I suspect this won't be an issue for me at all, but I couldn't help worry a smidge.
 
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Pete Pariseau
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If you're worried about balance in the "Anniversary" edition, get the Revised edition instead (the most recent before "Anniversary").
 
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Sean Shaw
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The only supposed "unstoppable" strategy I saw someone list on these boards was FAR from being unstoppable...and in fact was quite stoppable. Maybe I didn't understand what he meant (though he was pretty explicit in saying what one did each turn), but it got pretty stomped into the ground...and was one of the least successful ones I saw. I don't think he liked hearing the results of what happened when others playtested his idea though...

But to each their own.

Yes, I think A&A:AE is a Great First strategic War game. Personally I prefer War of the Ring...but most tell me that the rules are written too sloppily for most to understand...so in lieu of that and others...A&A:AE is GREAT! (Just like Tony the Tiger says!).
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Sean Shaw
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Peter Pariseau wrote:
If you're worried about balance in the "Anniversary" edition, get the Revised edition instead (the most recent before "Anniversary").


Just remember to read the additional items found here on BGG for the short game...
 
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Stephen Meyers
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AA50 is a great intro game and just a great overall game!

Yes, sometimes the so called experts, I believe, get overwrought about this game and play the game as a game and do gamey things in order to win the game at all costs like drive Japanese tanks to Moscow to win the game!

I have played the Axis & Allies games numerous times, AA50 once, with "non experts" and the Japanese tanks drive to Moscow never ever happens. It gives me a certain satisfaction that in our non-experts games that the games are much more historical than the experts' games. I don't think I would enjoy a game with Japan winning just becz it's tanks captured Moscow! As Japan, I would never even consider that strategy becz it was never ever in the realm of possibilities of WW2.

Yet the "experts" are always lamenting the fact that the games are unbalanced and non-historical, but they employ that strategy becz it is the gamey thing to do!!

I don't believe the game is unbalanced or broken in any way. It is a terrific fun game and the more players the merrier!

AA50 is even "more better" now that Italy has been added.
With the awesome board and the addition of Italy and 600 plastic puieces, I don't think you can go wrong with AA50!
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wodan wodan
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The Japanese Tank drive has been specifically removed as a viable strategy. Pushing through Russia would take 8 to 9 turns to reach Moscow, by which time it is way too late.
 
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Christopher Halbower
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The unstoppable strategy has nothing to do with a Japanese tank drive to Moscow. The unstoppable strategy states that if Germany, Italy and Japan move against Russia, Russia will fall by turn 3.
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Sean Shaw
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halbower wrote:
The unstoppable strategy has nothing to do with a Japanese tank drive to Moscow. The unstoppable strategy states that if Germany, Italy and Japan move against Russia, Russia will fall by turn 3.


Hurts Germany too much though, which Germany needs income. Put's Germany in the uncomfortable position where it could fall in turn 3 or 4 as well, which is kind of the counter balance.

However, the unstoppable strategy written about had to do with Aircraft..and their power in creating the fall of Russia. Doesn't work out to well as we've seen it, but it's a neat little thing to try. Depends totally on how well you roll...

Now a German invasion of Britain...
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A Manatee
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Don't buy into the hype about "unstoppable" strategies. When people play against bad opponents, they tend to get odd ideas of what is truly unstoppable. It is possible to take Russia on turn 3 if you throw everything at it, but a decent UK/US player will hit Germany so hard the next turn that it won't stand a chance.

Time will tell on which side actually has an advantage. People are way too quick to play a few games and decide they've figured everything out.
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Chris Earls
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I have been playing AA for at least 20 years now, since I was a kid, and it's a great game. When playing with 2 players it works great, it also works great with more.

I realize sometimes it feels like this game can take a long time between turns, but the best way to combat that is to work as a team when playing and strategizing.

Just bought my AA AE copy and plan on playing with friends this Friday, WOOT!
 
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Karl Runft
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I've played A&A, all versions, for years, and even designed some of my own games based on the basic A&A mechanics. I can say that AA50 is a good game for casual players, as are most the AA variants, except maybe Battle of the Bulge.

There is, however, a definite experience threshold where after you play enough and think about the game enough it loses its historical/causal bent and becomes more about math and statistics. You see some of this in these posts particularly about the "unstoppable strategies" (which seemed to be an open invitation for Germany to get smashed by the UK/US). But I personally prefer the math/statistic level of play. It opens up the games to more interesting strategies and surprising results, even if Japan takes over Russia (after all the Mongols were able to do it on horse back -- why not the Japanese then in tanks?). Further, saying play that is historically accurate is preferable is strange given what was historical didn't itself make much sense. Japan splitting its fleet to attack both Alaska and Midway? Russia placing in 1941 the majority of its forces right up to the German/USSR boarder like sitting ducks? I think once you learn enough about the game you can get away from blindly following what the actual protagonists did and realize the actual strategic potentials of the axis and allies.
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Håkan Larsson
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gregd wrote:
My first war game- 25 years ago- and still like pulling it out time and time again. It is fairly easy to learn, and should provide you with countless hours of enjoyment. Don't let the hard core guys sway you!


I agree with the above. But perhaps not 25 years ago for me, rather 20 years...

The new A&A 50th is great!!

 
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