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Subject: A Life Changing Encounter rss

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Gregory Bay
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Axis and Allies is a game that for many, including myself, changed the world of board games forever. No you are not joining a cult here...well maybe. Depends if you feel like donning a green dress and running through the corn fields...and yes just maybe if you build it they will come. Who knows?

I was first introduced to this game over ten years ago and found myself playing it with regularity till about 15 months ago. I would regularly purchase the next version that would come out while never really splurging into the different games within this franchise. Never felt the need because I already had my fix with Axis and Allies.

Time has rolled on and as previously mentioned Axis and Allies calmed down on my playing time. Why? Just a lot of good games that I have been wanting to play. In fact if it was not for Axis and Allies I would not be a devoted fan of this phenominal hobby. Axis and Allies recently found itself in my "to trade" stack of games that I keep for those occassions when the right trade hits. I even had it listed on Board Game Geek here for trade, but yesterday I walked by my closet and pulled Axis and Allies of the shelf and had a wonderful three hours playing it once more by myself.

Yes the game is that memoriable.

Needless to say the game is on my kitchen table right now ready for one more play, and it has been taken out of my trade pile and off of my trade list back to where it belongs on my shelf.

There are many great games covering World War II out there in stores and on game shelves but Axis and Allies offers up to five players an immersive experience consisting of the economic, diplomatic, and tactical struggles of the five major powers in WWII in a simple and attainable format.

Components in the Box:

In the box there are five plastic armies representing Japan, USSR, German, Brits, and USA. Along with the armies there are plastic "poker chips" used to represent the numerics of your forces. Player aids, paper cash, and the rule book are in the big box as well. Plenty of pieces for the child in you to go wild with.

Some folks do not like paper money and if you are one of these then you will be bothered. I do not care for the money so much but I do not let it bother me.

A great mounted board that is very functional tops off the components for this game and leads us into the gameplay.

Gameplay:

Depending on the ammount of players you have sitting at the table you split up the nationalities. With five each player plays one nation. Do you need all five to have an enjoyable gaming experience? Five is a blast but the game plays well with 2 as well as five. There is less down time with fewer players but the diplomatic aspect varies with more people for the good. You have to get all these world powers to get along with each other...

The game is structured around rounds and each round every power takes a turn beginning with Russia and ending with USA. On each players turn you take the money you earned from the previous turn and walk through a list of actions.

1. Buy technological improvement.
2. Buy reinforcements.
3. Make combat move(s).
4. Resolve combat.
5. Non combat moves.
6. Place reinforcements.

Every player every turn follows this formula and the formula is what makes it easy to get new players into the game.

The game forces the strengths and weaknessess of each nation to be played out during the course of the game. There is some disagreement on this between players but I feel that the game does a good job representing the struggles and frustrations of each empire. You will face the awesome economy of the USA but the struggle to get to the other side of the pond to join the fight, and then you have to decide which pond to cross because you are surrouded. The Brits are scattered but they cannot pull everything and fight by themselves without help and so on.

What am I saying? Each side will have to work in concert with the other to win. One power cannot win by himself. Takes all three for the Allies and two for the Axis. Your efforts must be in unison and with a big picture in mind. You will have a feeling of teamwork as you play this game.

Real estate represents a nations war economy. The more territories and certain key territories a player controls the more money they will earn to buy the weapons of war needed to win the game. There are key properties, representing the key industrial/economic locations, in this game that much time will be fought over. Natural bounders to over come will create bottlenecks of fighting just like in the real thing. Decisions will be tough what to fight for and what to lose. Money is precious and you will not always have enough.

The units contained in the game are a general representation of the ground, naval, and air forces of each nation. Tank blitzs, air raids, and naval battles are all included in this game. You will feel like you are playing commander and chief of a world power and you will enjoy every tense moment of it.

Victory is won by the team, Axis or Allies, that first procures enough victory cities to win the game. This can be changed depending on how long you want to play. You do not have to play a full game. Play the small one or if you have time go all out and play the full version.

Anywhere from 2 to 5 hours can be invested into this game of diplomacy and struggle and you will remember the moments had with this wonderful game.

Historical Triumph:

So how does the game deal with its topic? The short answer is very well. By topic I mean how does the game cover the time period of WWII. Are you actually playing a game where you feel like you are experiencing the conflict and struggle of the empires? Yes.

The game has some scripting to it and by scripting I mean that you will follow a path to victory many times that will follow that of our fore fathers but not always. A game is either 100% scripted or 100% unscripted. An obvious statement but I am putting this comment in here because some people want an absolutely open ended game. Abstracts are your 100% unscripted game.

The beauty of Axis and Allies is that there is a good degree of scripting but not every game will play the same especially with this revised version and the tournament rules that are on this website as well as Axis and Allies main site. You can be Japan and go to town invading USA if you want but you have to remember your strengths and weaknesses.

Each empire is set up like its historical counterpart financially and strategically. You are going to have to play your empire, and yes many times it will feel like you are rewalking the steps of those brave soldiers that have gone on before us. This is where this game shines bright for me. If you want to experience the struggles of Russia you will in this game. Want to be totally surrounded but have a massive army, a big stick if you will, to attack your neighbors go ahead and be Germany. USA, totally removed from the European scene but desperately needed to win this war, the problem being you have to get there first.

This is a game to replay history and for many it is THE game or a close second.

Final thoughts:

Axis and Allies is a game that, for many, has produced lasting memories. This is why I enjoy this hobby, the memories made with my friends and family.

The game may not be for everyone but if you are looking for a great classic that still delievers a wonderful game experience for your friends then pick up a copy of Axis and Allies and relive some old memories or better yet create some new ones.

A great game that has stood the test of time in the face of great competition and talent. Play on.

Thank you!

Gregory

What say you!?
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James Bentley
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Good review...I've been considering this, as I've never played this before...

My gaming sessions with friends are sometimes far and few between, so I do a fair amount of solo gaming...so here comes the obvious question: have you played A&A solo and, if so, how was it?

Thanks,
jrbentley
 
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Gregory Bay
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jrbentley wrote:
Good review...I've been considering this, as I've never played this before...

My gaming sessions with friends are sometimes far and few between, so I do a fair amount of solo gaming...so here comes the obvious question: have you played A&A solo and, if so, how was it?

Thanks,
jrbentley


I have played it solo quite a few times and the one thing you are going to miss is diplomacy aspect of the game where you have to work with others to win. That will be missing.

I have played Axis and Allies solo quite a few times meaning I enjoy it. You get to really dig into the strategy of the game playing by yourself. Take each power and play to win. You can really work together with your allies for a concerted effort without fighting with diplomacy.

I enjoy the game solo, always better to play with others, but Axis and Allies provides an enjoyable solo game.

Thanks!
Gregory
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Gordon Adams
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Ironic as this may sound, I played A@A two player and solo and I prefer solo !
The fact that I can take my time and experiment with different strategies makes this wonderful game a joy to play in solo mode, imho.

Regards.
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Just Another User
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Mundelein
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Thank you for the nice write-up. Axis & Allies is the reason I'm into boardgaming as well.
 
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Gregory Bay
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oldfan wrote:
Thank you for the nice write-up. Axis & Allies is the reason I'm into boardgaming as well.


Appreciate it. There is something to be said for a classic.
 
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Lance
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The coolest best thing I have ever done in my life is being a father
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A fitting tribute to a great game!

great review!
 
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Justin S.
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I just can't play games solo. I feel like a lonely nutcase when I try to do it. Plus the face that I know what I want to do with each team makes for no surprises and makes each team aware of where the enemy will attack.

I liked the review, although I find it shocking how you would say this is (somewhat) historically accurate. I mean, the nations are the same, the conflict is the same, the weapons are, but other wise, the war doesn't turn out the same. Frontlines change rapidly in this game and stretch out to unseen circumstances, such as Germany conquering Africa, Japan conquering Russia, or the Americans conquering and using Norway as a base.
 
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Andrew Vinton
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I've been playing Axis and Allies since 1982. I find the game pretty easy to learn and teach. And I think that you get an awful lot of fun and a fair amount of accuracy for the amount of time and effort involved. A really good trade-off. I find that games usually take between 3 and 6 hours (slightly longer than some other folks say), but it really depends on who you are playing with and how the game goes.
 
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Shaun Haynam
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I don't know if i'll be burned at the stake as a heretic for saying this on a bg site but...

You have to track down the PC version of this game. NOT THE ATARI VERSION (yes, atari publishes PC games). Th atari version came out in the early 2000s and is a hybrid turn-based and real-time strategy game. It is not A and A in any true sense at all. Avoid this game like you would a veneral disease.

That said... I think it was Hasbro that put out a faithful PC port of Axis of Allies some years ago. The AI was abysmal, but the game itself was awesome. It had a host of multiplayer options, including hotseat, for up to five people. It was a 100% port of the board game. There were no changes. Beautiful.

The best part of it was that it sped up the gameplay by 200%. Rule disputes done. IPC accounting? Done. Where can the fighters land? Handled. Die rolls are shown on screen. Massive battles play out before your eyes. You could throw down 3 or 4 games per night. It was awesome.

I love boardgames. I truly do. I love pushing the pieces around and all that. But if I can throw it on a PC and speed up the action, I'll do it. I can worry more about tactics than worrying about knocking over a massive army crammed into manchuria.
 
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Gregory Bay
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I would not burn you. Others will though...whistle

I probably would play the pc version quite a bit. The actually board game can be a bear to set up, this is why five players are needed cool, and a virtual version of the game would do grand at this.

I love the face to face of the board game though. If I had a pc version I probably would play it a lot to.

Happy gaming.
 
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