Recommend
19 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Axis & Allies Europe 1940» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review of the combined game. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Williams
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Since, as I write, there is an extreme dearth of reviews on this game, I'm going to list a few thoughts here based on my first play last night. My hope is that they might help someone make a buying decision about whether this is a good game for them or not. Note that this is specifically a review of the combined game, 1940 Europe + 1940 Pacific.

I played Axis & Allies happily for hours and hours when it first came out, but am now an enthusiastic Eurogamer. My only experience on which I base the following comments was one game with both Europe & Pacific maps combined. All the players had played A&A extensively, but less so the more recent, updated versions. None of us had played either of these newest releases before.

1 Pieces and bits: All transports are not created equal. The same unit looks different for different nations, not just in color, but in silhouette. These units are more historically accurate, but made evaluating the strength of fleets particularly tedious. I also had difficulty telling the difference between tactical bombers and other aircraft of the same color. They are a different size, but glancing across a large board, it wasn't always easy to tell.

The pieces for each country come their own "box in the box", a plus, so no need to weep when someone upends your A&A set to move it. The only player aid I saw was printed on the lid of these boxes, and was sorely lacking. It did not include turn order, turn sequence, unit identification, or cost and strength of units.

Although I felt the plastic pieces were well-made, the chits in the Pacific game were cheap, thin cardboard. Area control chits are only printed on one side. It's a minor hassle, but just makes the game a bit more fiddly.

The board? Well, they could've spent a little more on a heavier board, but it's good enough. (And yes, I realize one has to cut costs somewhere.) When I first saw the entire board laid out across two tables, with all the pieces in place, I admit to having emitted a low whistle. When this whole game is set up, it is very impressive.

2 Rules: I didn't have much occasion to spend time in the rulebooks, but they are beautifully printed. When someone did have to look for a small "what would that be under" sort of rule, they usually found it rather quickly, so I'll assume the rulebooks are well-organized. However, the rules for the combined game are still evolving and being updated online, which lessened the utility of the rulebooks.

The new rules for combined arms (for instance, infantry attack on a 2 if accompanied by artillery) give players more flexibility without adding fiddlyness.

3 History: I am not a WW2 enthusiast, but some of the guys seemed to really enjoy discussing how various design decisions were driven by historical factors. e.g. How long it would take to get Brazil into the war, why some of the national objectives (which give a power bonus money) exist. I didn't feel like the history got in the way of a good game, except for one tiny little (giant elephant) thing. At the start of this war game, you're not all at war.

4 Gameplay: Axis and Allies, this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you. I didn't like playing this game. At the start of the game, not all countries are at war. The United States is prohibited from declaring war on its own for 3 full turns. You know how long 3 turns take in A&A. The Soviet Union has some similar restrictions, and Japan has an incentive to NOT declare war on the Soviets. Meanwhile, the German, British, and Italian players are very busy in Europe, the Atlantic, and the Med. So you have some players taking long turns with lots of dice-rolling and planning, while others wait to do something. The idle players do control France and China, but it's not enough to be satisfying.

It's quite possible that by the time (3 turns... how long is that in your game group?) the American or Soviet Player is at war, the game is already going very well -- or very poorly -- for their side. I was the Soviet player, and felt like my participation had been largely pointless. Britain had not fared well in the Atlantic, and Germany was now in a position to roll me. America was still handcuffed to her own shores for one more turn.

If these three turns had blasted by in 45 minutes, and then I'd gotten engaged, it might have been okay. But these were Axis and Allies turns, so they did not.

My bottom paragraph: This game appears to be an ideal fit for two players who have the time and space to leave the game set up over the course of days. One play the Axis, one play the Allies. If you want to play this with a group, you'll need all day, and teams should jointly control all their powers so that the American player doesn't start peeling the wallpaper from boredom. It's probably also a game that would get richer with repeated plays. If you don't have the time for that, you might pass on A&A combined.
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played the combined 1940 game once, and while I did enjoy it, I agree with your comments regarding downtime, which is the major downside of the combined game.

We played with six players, and I was Italy. My turns were relatively short to execute, but waiting to go again could be as long as an hour.

After nearly 8 hours of play, the game had been decided (Japan was the only remaining Axis power), but far from over because Japan was very strong. Whittling Japan down might have taken 4 or 5 more turns.

The game is truly a "monster" in the genre, and I like all the rules that have been incorporated into it. The downtime is a definite drawback, however.

I think the game is ideal for 2-3 players, and shouldn't be played by more than 4.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joao Pat
Portugal
flag msg tools
Liked your review but just have one thing to say. The history factor is very well done in this game and I am a WW2 hsitory buff and I love the fact that not all powers started at war.

Besides in terms of balance if the game startedwith russia and us already at war with the axis it wouldn't be very balanced.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john mcmanis
United States
Anaheim
California
flag msg tools
We played one round of the game today and it seemed too unbalanced in points (even with the US still at piece, the allies were pulling in 171 points to the Axis 123). It appeared that only extreme attacks were going to have an effect on that margin (trying an all out attack on the UK, destroying the navy in one turn, and making a naval invasion the second....forcing Germany to buy a huge amount of transports). Japan taking almost all of its air power south to hit India (mostly air with a few land troops....only starting with 3 transports). Attacking Russia to knock her out quickly didn't look possible (5 turns worth of spaces away from the capital). Am I wrong?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan Ozimek
Denmark
Aalborg
flag msg tools
badge
Must resist M:tG. Boardgames are my methadone :)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
majesticfeet wrote:
We played one round of the game today and it seemed too unbalanced in points (even with the US still at piece, the allies were pulling in 171 points to the Axis 123). It appeared that only extreme attacks were going to have an effect on that margin (trying an all out attack on the UK, destroying the navy in one turn, and making a naval invasion the second....forcing Germany to buy a huge amount of transports). Japan taking almost all of its air power south to hit India (mostly air with a few land troops....only starting with 3 transports). Attacking Russia to knock her out quickly didn't look possible (5 turns worth of spaces away from the capital). Am I wrong?

Using the latest rules, the game is fairly balanced. Look for the 2nd edition rules and setup charts. Extensive playtesting involving the community went into tweaking the 1st edition OOB rules. This process was know as the Alpha project, and ultimately resulted in the 2e rules.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.