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Axis & Allies: 1942» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Components review for the new A&A player rss

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Blair Riding
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I haven't had a chance to play the new edition yet, but I have read the manual and gone over the setup. I feel that a lot of the posts on this site about this game have been trying to hold this game up to the expectations of the much more expensive recent editions of A&A, and that just isn't very helpful to the newcomer, which is who this new edition is aimed at. So, as someone who isn't biased toward the revised or anniversary editions (I haven't played anything since the 1984 edition), I believe I can offer a fair review of the game's components.

There are several complaints I've heard about this game, and some of the tone approaches health-care debate levels of vitriol, so I'm going to address those common complaints one-by-one.

Money
The game doesn't include any IPCs. I believe it was dumb of Avalon Hill not to include the IPC paper money. If you don't like it, you can set it aside, but it should still be there so that those who don't want to keep track of the ever changing number of IPCs on paper won't have to work it out for themselves. It should have been included. However, just because it should have been included doesn't mean the game is unplayable without it. There are a couple options for how to solve this, and very easily. You can do the paper and pencil thing. If you have the patience you can print and cut out one of the several IPC files posted on this web site. You can buy paper or plastic fake money at your local toy store or craft store (I saw some at Joann fabrics the other day). You can use real coins--pennies nickels and dimes--from your change jar. You can use paper clips or whatever you have lying around. The point is, there's no reason to be angry about this. Maybe miffed or peeved, but rants are not warranted here. The game is playable without included IPCs.

Numbers of Units
I've gone over the setup of each power, and the only unit that comes even close to running out is the infantry units, and that's only if you don't use chips. There are tons of chips, too, so if you use the chips for any territory with three or more infantry you will not run out of components. You shouldn't have any problems with running out of units later, either, as by the time you're building more units than are getting destroyed in combat, the game is pretty much over, anyway. The only unit I could see coming up short is the AA gun, which there are only 2 extra of. I don't think that will happen very often, though.

Difficult to See Borders
This is ONLY a concern in a few Germany's starting territories, as Germany's color is black, which blends a bit too easily into the map. Some of the more crooked borders are difficult to see without squinting a bit. All the other territories on the map are clearly delineated, so I see this as a small but real problem.

Small Board
This is a concern in a few territories, particularly in Germany's starting territories and in United Kingdom, which are small and start with a large number of units. Also, the new naval units are thinner, but much longer than I expected, making them difficult to fit in a few of the smaller ocean spaces (particularly space 15 in the Mediterranean). Oddly, a few islands in the Pacific literally disappear when you place an infantry unit on them. Many of these problems can be alleviated by the use of chips, but not entirely. I could see this effect combining with the difficult-to-see borders in Europe to cause some confusion.

Game Manual
I haven't seen too many complaints about the game manual, actually, but I have a couple minor ones myself. It's incredibly dry, and was a challenge for me to get through (I'm not a real war-gamer). The topics were organized oddly, too, with the exceptions often coming first and the general rules second. Those exceptions were scattered about a bit, too. I think it would be very difficult to use this manual as a reference. For instance, if you have a question about amphibious battles, you may have to check the combat moves, combat, non-combat moves, or the specific unit description before you find the answer. However, this doesn't make the game unplayable, it just makes it a pain to get to the playing.

Conclusion
If you are looking into trying A&A, or getting your own copy after playing your friend's copy, there is no good reason not to get this edition of A&A. Conversely, if you already have a copy of a previous edition, there's no good reason for you to get this one, but no good reason for you not to. This edition is an INCREDIBLE value, at just $20 from many of the web stores, or $30 in-store if Target will put it on more stores' shelves. All of the components are extremely high quality, and you get tons of them for the price. There is nothing about this game, at least in terms of the components, that is unplayable, and I can't imagine that the game isn't fun since the rules are extremely similar to what I used to play. I think if you're thinking about getting this game, then you should get it.
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Chris Crowder
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Seems like a fair review. I've the original 2nd edition, never bought revised or 50th, so I've considered picking this one up. I'd just steal the IPCs from my earlier version. Seems like every board has one space or another that's cramped for room (except 50th maybe), and I'd like the rules update and improvements that have come out since my original. Price is right too.
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Bill Eldard
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Cecrow wrote:
Seems like a fair review. I've the original 2nd edition, never bought revised or 50th, so I've considered picking this one up. I'd just steal the IPCs from my earlier version.


Additionally, there are several other ways to fix it.

1. Option A: Print out the IPCs from this file

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/46220

2. Option B: Use poker chips (Many prefer this anyway)


3. Option C: Use the Production Track. Mark the blank underside of a nationality counter for each country with its ID (e.g. US; UK; USSR; GE; JP), and use the inverted counter to track the actual IPC holdings of each player the same way that the right-side-up counter tracks the Production capacities. The downsides of this method: (a) the doubling of counters on the Production Track, which may make it a bit busy; (b) all holdings are public knowledge; and (C) it's also easier to make a mistake with this method than the actual exchange of paper money or poker chips.


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Barry Kendall
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I think your comments are fair. For the price point, this is a good buy.

I'm especially appreciative of the return to naturalistic board colors after A&A Revised and the Blue-Black Seas that made me feel like I was going blind.

Disappointed in some of the pieces--the Shermans are still horrid, and while the P-38 is a nifty little sculpt, it doesn't fit very well on a carrier either physically or historically.

The new Soviet naval pieces are among the best sculpts ever, though.

I remain hopeful that the two upcoming titles (A&A Europe: 1940 and A&A Pacific: 1940) will have new sculpts, actual RN destroyers, earlier-period Japanese BBs and early-model German tanks (not to mention The French).

We rarely used the IPCs except for "change" after a turn's builds, and pennies work for that, so I don't mind their omission.

Only real gripe we've had has been mentioned here, some constriction in board areas. I believe U.S. toy laws require components to be a certain minimum size to avoid child-choking hazards (who's going to let their kid EAT A&A pieces? You can't get replacement parts from Hasbro!), but it does create a problem with certain naval units in the game.

Relatively minor problem, overall. Good product.
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E Butler
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blair524 wrote:

...
Difficult to See Borders
This is ONLY a concern in a few Germany's starting territories, as Germany's color is black, which blends a bit too easily into the map. Some of the more crooked borders are difficult to see without squinting a bit. All the other territories on the map are clearly delineated, so I see this as a small but real problem.

Small Board
This is a concern in a few territories, particularly in Germany's starting territories and in United Kingdom, which are small and start with a large number of units. Also, the new naval units are thinner, but much longer than I expected, making them difficult to fit in a few of the smaller ocean spaces (particularly space 15 in the Mediterranean). Oddly, a few islands in the Pacific literally disappear when you place an infantry unit on them. Many of these problems can be alleviated by the use of chips, but not entirely. I could see this effect combining with the difficult-to-see borders in Europe to cause some confusion.



Those are my two issues also - both are problems with most A&A versions after the MB version.

I took a black sharpie to the map. It really needs better definition in the Axis controlled areas, especially with the small size of the territories in Europe.

... AND speaking of the map, why do they keep going back to maps that are to small!? If they had just moved the IPC track to another board and used the extra space to expand the map a bit the space issue wouldn't have been as extreme. The space situation in Europe is really a problem.
 
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Jack Tremble
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Those are also issuses with me. How dumb can these people be. It just seems like a no brainer to have larger areas NOT SMALLER ONES!shake

I highlighted the European borders.laugh
 
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Rob Bradley
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The part that bothered me the most was hte set-up card for each player. Sure that part is functional, but why not have unit cost and offensive and defensive values on the back? We had players have to get out of there chair and walk around the board to see how much a unit costs.

How did they get that right the first time in 1983, and then screw it up now?
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