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Subject: advice for new A&A player rss

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ŁṲÎS̈
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I'm planning our first AA game this weekend. My son, nephew, bro-in-law, and two friends are hopefully going to get in a good 6 player game.

The in-law is the only one with any experience in the game, and that was over 20 years ago as a teenager.


The same group has played Risk 2210 A.D. half a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, while we all find basic risk terribly boring by comparison.
Since then however, We've pretty much been playing Euros exclusively.


I've sat down with my son and we've gone through this rulebook which seems far more complex than what we're used to.



So a few questions to make this weekend go smoothly:

1. Should we play with the first game with R&D ? (rulebook calls this optional)

2. Should we play with the national objectives?

3. I'll probably have around 3 or 4 hours, but all of our learning games take longer than usual. How many victory cities should we play to if want to finish the game?

4. Do people typically use the battle board to resolve battles? There's a section on the risk boards to do the same thing, but it's seems silly to move pieces to it just to move them back or kill them off, so we never use it.



Any other advice would be very welcome. Thanks.

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brian
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monteslu wrote:
I've sat down with my son and we've gone through this rulebook which seems far more complex than what we're used to.

As more pieces have been introduced, the rulebook has gotten a bit more complex (compared to the original version). However, it looks more daunting than it really is.

Quote:
So a few questions to make this weekend go smoothly:

1. Should we play with the first game with R&D ? (rulebook calls this optional)

My personal recommendation is to skip them for the first game or two. They add a little more variability. In previous versions, we tended to ignore them as they were less predictable in actually earning them. This revised method (of carrying failed attempts forward) makes it more viable. But for a teaching game, you won't miss them.

Quote:
2. Should we play with the national objectives?

This is something new that attempts to balance the powers a bit more with out making countries on the board overpowered with values that are too high. It also attempts to re-introduce a historical flow as A&A can become ahistorical really fast.

So like R&D, you can probably skip this the first game or two but you are going to lose some of the distinctiveness of each nation.

Quote:
3. I'll probably have around 3 or 4 hours, but all of our learning games take longer than usual. How many victory cities should we play to if want to finish the game?

The least amount possible. I think this version suggests 13 cities for the shorter game. Another option is to set a time limit and just finish out the round.

Quote:
4. Do people typically use the battle board to resolve battles? There's a section on the risk boards to do the same thing, but it's seems silly to move pieces to it just to move them back or kill them off, so we never use it.

I have been playing A&A for along time and still use the board. One, it will help you to learn the units and what their attack and defense is, and two, it will help you keep larger battles straight.

Now, if you get to a point that you no longer need either of those, then you can forget the board for certain battles. We frenquently don't use the boards if there are only a couple units on each side or if one side is all tanks for example. But for the more "involved" battles, don't be embarrassed to use the battle board again.

Quote:
Any other advice would be very welcome. Thanks.

Be patient! Since you are used to Euros, this game can take some time. And there can be a lot of down time as the other players play their turn. We try to speed it up by planning our purchases while others are playing. But there will still be downtime.

Try to be more aggressive. Newbies tend to "turtle" by stockpiling and withdrawing a central region and playing defense. There are times, obviously, that this is a good choice. But it will mostly just slow down the game and slow down the inevitable. It is more fun to roll dice, which means attack!
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Kevin Chapman
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Excellent advice, Brian! The only thing I would add is that it's important to review the FAQ, if you haven't already. It contains important errata and rules clarifications. Have fun!
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This probably isn't helpful since you already have 6 players scheduled, but I question how much fun it would be to control Italy alone. They have the smallest military in the fewest amount of territories with the weakest economy. That player's turns will be noticeably shorter than the others, resulting in the most downtime.

I haven't played this 6 player and won't recommend it with my group. Another way I look at it is, whether you have 5 or 6 players, you're only going to have 5 fully engaged players.
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Chris Earls
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Great Advice Brian, I agree with all your recommendations. Have fun with AA - Great Game!

P.S. Risk 2210 is Awesome too!
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Thanks for the great advice guys!

I'm really psyched for this weekend now. I think since I'm going to hosting the game day I'll probably play Italy myself. I may have my toddler in my lap for part of the time anyway and the downtime between turns would actually be a good thing.


Not that I played the original or revised, but the revised rules told you how to set up for less than five players. This new rulebook seems to be missing that section and nothing in the errata.

Are there guidelines for less than 6 with A&A:AE ?
Two and Six are the only ones that seem obvious to me.

Also, anyone ever play 2 vs. 2 vs. 2 with the new version? Sure it would be historically inaccurate and subject to ganging up, but I'll have a few days during the holidays with only three players.
 
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brian
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monteslu wrote:
Are there guidelines for less than 6 with A&A:AE ?
Two and Six are the only ones that seem obvious to me.

Officially, no. Butmaybe some of the playtesters have tried it.

The old version suggested:
3: a: Germany; b: Japan: c: US/UK/USSR
4: a: UK/USSR; b: Germany; c: Japan; d: USA

Based on that, I might take a stab at this:
3: a: Germany/Italy; b: Japan; c: US/UK/USSR
4: a: UK/USSR; b: Germany/Italy; c: Japan; d: USA
5: a: USSR; b: Germany/Italy; c: UK; d: Japan; e: USA

Though it was suggested that Japan might be better suited to take Italy instead of Germany so they could coordinate in the same theater.

Quote:
Also, anyone ever play 2 vs. 2 vs. 2 with the new version? Sure it would be historically inaccurate and subject to ganging up, but I'll have a few days during the holidays with only three players.

Not sure how 2 vs. 2. vs. 2 would work. It might be better to try out different combos of 3-player games within the historical context and report back which is best!
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Quote:
I'm really psyched for this weekend now. I think since I'm going to hosting the game day I'll probably play Italy myself. I may have my toddler in my lap for part of the time anyway and the downtime between turns would actually be a good thing.


I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes. I've got a 5 player game planned for this Saturday myself. Can't wait!
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Don Moody
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
I might take a stab at this:
3: a: Germany/Italy; b: Japan; c: US/UK/USSR
4: a: UK/USSR; b: Germany/Italy; c: Japan; d: USA
5: a: USSR; b: Germany/Italy; c: UK; d: Japan; e: USA


The above is similar to what I would suggest but for a 4 player game, I'd break the Allies as Russia and UK/USA.

DonMoody
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Kevin Chapman
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
monteslu wrote:
Are there guidelines for less than 6 with A&A:AE ?
Two and Six are the only ones that seem obvious to me.

Officially, no. Butmaybe some of the playtesters have tried it.

The old version suggested:
3: a: Germany; b: Japan: c: US/UK/USSR
4: a: UK/USSR; b: Germany; c: Japan; d: USA

Based on that, I might take a stab at this:
3: a: Germany/Italy; b: Japan; c: US/UK/USSR
4: a: UK/USSR; b: Germany/Italy; c: Japan; d: USA
5: a: USSR; b: Germany/Italy; c: UK; d: Japan; e: USA

The rules only say that Germany and Italy should be controlled by the same player if there are less than six. Other than that, they are silent on the distribution. As Brian suggested, the distribution from Revised will work (with Italy added to Germany), however the four-player breakdown is actually as follows:
a: USA/USSR; b: Germany; c: Japan; d: UK
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