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Axis & Allies: WWI 1914» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A review not a rulebook overview rss

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Dan Rivera
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Axis and Allies: WWI 1914- : An Ameritrash war game simulating World War I.

First off I will not go into the rules of the game here. They have been restated numerous times with considerably more skill, clarity and precision then I would be able to in other posts on this site so what I will do is answer the questions I normally ask someone when I’m about to play or buy a game for the first time.


Conclusion (for those not wanting to read the whole thing): A great game ruined by some poor design choices, a poor rule book, too high price point, and not enough pieces.

How many players can play? 2 -8: This is a team game with each player taking one or more armies from their side. The central powers of Germany, Turkey (Ottoman Empire), and the Austria- Hungarian Empire and The Entente composed of Great Brittan, Russia, Italy and the United States (Note the US only comes into the game on the 4th turn unless attacked so if you play the full 8 people and the Central Powers don’t want their entry they will be very bored for the first 2 or 3 hours.

What is the quality of the components (bang for the buck)? The bang for the buck is horrible but with some good pieces to make it not catastrophic. There are a lot of problems with this game from the production side especially since it retails at $100.00. On the positive side the sculpts for individual armies are wonderful and there are a ton of them, and the boxes to hold the armies are well made with a nice setup list on the top as well as starting money (IPC). Now for the negative this game is in my opinion broken from the production side of the house. Production problem 1) There are not enough pieces to play the game after initial setup. Production problem 2) The rule book is horrible (see next section). Production problem 3) The spaces on the western front are way too small for all the armies placed on them. Production problem 4) They decided instead of using the standard grey and red chips for 1 and 5 armies they would use different shades for red or blue for the Central powers and The Entrente this makes telling the difference between army stacks very hard and for people as myself who are color blind almost impossible. Production problem 5) Instead of giving money or an IPC tracking chart they put a small slider tracker on the board that does not work period.

How easy is it to learn? Should be easy but ends up being a lot worse due to the poor rulebook. The standard rules of Axis and Allies apply with some neat ideas and exceptions so this should be an easy game to learn for and AA vet however the rulebook is just plain bad. Where all other Axis and Allies rulebooks place all the units in the back with all their individual rules and exception in this rulebook there placed throughout the rulebook and are often mention only once, to give only one example there was a question on Battleship bombardments and how they work in this edition of AA. In normal AA you would go to the battleship section in the back of the book and find the answer in this one it was one sentence in the Naval section under amphibious assault or Naval movement (I believe) this took 4 players 20 minutes to find (see if you can find it). This lends itself to a much steeper learning curve than it should be.

How long does it take? 4-8 hours: This is an Axis and Allies game. It’s long expect that.

What itch does this scratch? Beer and Pretzels World War I game.

What is the replay value? Good, there are going to be opening moves that are standard but depending on the dice and other players it will play different most of the time.

Does this game reward skill or is it a pure luck fest? It rewards skill but again this is Axis and Allies so there are a lot of dice roles.

In Conclusion: I wanted to like this game. I love Axis and Allies and most of its other versions. I love World War I history and have been reading about it lately. I’m tailor made for this game and I still didn’t like it. There are some great things about it from the one round of battle and the ability to transfer units from one adjacent contested zone to the other to the way planes and tanks are integrated just to name a few but with all that going for it the game fails so bad on the production side and from the rule book I have no desire to play this game again. I am really disappointed and I’m glad I didn't fork over 100 dollars for it. This being said if you are willing to house rule somethings (Adjusting Switzerland's strength or making them impassable) and have an extra axis and allies game around to rob from so you can play it you will find a neat version of AA with some cool ideas that is definitely worth playing. However if you want a functional game out of the box with a rule book you can actually find rules in then avoid this one.
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E Butler
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I'm really sorry to see that they didn't learn their lesson with the fiasco that was 1st edition Pacific 1941 when they also shorted players on game pieces. Axis & Allies IS all about components.
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Leo Zappa
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Crap. Yet another review that makes it clear that this A&A is not up to snuff. Looks like I'll be waiting for a second edition, if there ever is one (the paradox of course exists in that the worse the first edition sells, the less likely a second edition becomes, so I have to hope the rest of you out there buy enough first editions that my hoped-for second edition is realized!)

I don't know if it's Larry Harris or Hasbro or both, but as someone who's heavily invested in the A&A franchise (from the MB version of the original to first edition 1940 Pacific and Europe, with 2nd edition rulebooks), it seems like of late that the quality control of the series is deteriorating. The designs of the early 2000's were very tight, and there was almost no errata to speak of, but now, rules issues and production issues (not enough pieces, incorrect pieces, no paper money) are becoming more commonplace. To echo the point made by the previous poster, I would have thought that after the debacle that was first edition 1940 (which I bought into, and worked my way through Alpha +1 and +2 rulesets, and eventually bought the 2nd edition rulebooks), Hasbro and Larry would have gone way, way, WAY out of their way to make damn sure 1914 was absolutely perfect.

I have to say that whereas any new A&A product was must-buy for me 5 years ago, the 1940 experience coupled with the word so far on 1914 has unfortunately changed my mindset. I am now very much in a wait-and-see mode with all new A&A releases.
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Chris Strabala
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I'm in the exact same boat... Why buy now what they need to fix & reprint later?
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demonhanz demonhanz
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Its a shame that there aren't enough pieces. I would think paying anything over $60 would entail providing enough components!
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James Boyd
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crsluggo wrote:
I'm in the exact same boat... Why buy now what they need to fix & reprint later?


Sigh ... I feel the same way.

Thanks for saving me some money ... for now.
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Howard Massey
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thumbsup Dan _ nice review. And thumbsup all around!


After reading 1,001 postings here and athttp://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?board=76.0
, I don't know, I just don't know.
I wanted this game to be 'a good game'.
All the WWI World covered and with A&A rules, cool !

This games qualities look to be all over the place.
On one 'feature' of the game, ya want to give it a 9 out of 10 rating.
And the next feature is a 2.
And the next feature is a 1.
And the next feature is a 8.
And the next feature is a 2.
Etc.

Hap-hazard presentation there Hasbro _soblue

They need ah game version of that
TV guy from Bar Rescue laugh


edit; link added
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Will Miner
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Just not sure that this game Axis @ Allies ,even cloaked in ww1 presentation has really improved since 1983 ,, do they play test these things?
 
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Kenneth Stein
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My 2 cents: You are absolutely unable to get 9 stacks of chips into Belgium. You simply cannot. 1 each inf, art, air, for Ger., Fr., Uk. Don't even start talking about stacks for tanks!. Yet huge areas in little used Northern Russia, huge area for pretty small potatoes Africa. And Alsace, the Ruhr & Holland are crammed together as well. Many slipped and dropped chips shooting across the Western Front. Better have and be adept with tweezers1 (Also not included).

NEVER touching this again.
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Lenny Mork
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Well, I went ahead and bought the game. Cost just under $80 with shipping. Opened the box and greeted with that "New Game" smell. All of the pieces really nice, I liked the fact that only Infantry pieces differed in design. All other playing pieces are the same, just a different color.
Speaking of color, I found that the color of the playing pieces are far too close in shade/value. In other words, German and American pieces look the nearly alike, as do several of the other nationalities.
I do like the idea of the red/dark red, blue/dark blue stacking chips. When in place on the board they make it clear, from a glance, which side is which. The problem with the chips are that the center circle is slightly smaller than the infantry base, so the infantry always sit cock-eyed at the top of the stack. The other issue with the color chips is.... where are the rest of them? Just setting up the game uses ALL of the value 5, the darker red chips. They actually have written in the rules that you will need to "borrow" chips from your opponents when necessary!
I noticed a few issues when I was setting up the game for the first time. One was my copy of the game has a defective eastern gameboard. It is strangely warped and doesn't line up with the western half. (I contacted Wizards and a new gameboard half is on the way, no charge).
The other problem is ALL of the German infantry are used just setting up the game. Looking over the game pieces as supplied it becomes quite apparent that you won't have enough to play the game without "borrowing" from other games. The other problem is the mapboard design itself. I don't understand why more playing area wasn't given to Europe. Africa taking up the majority of the bottom half of the map leaves me scratching my head. Bad design.
The rules need a rewrite. There are many vague statements.
I have enjoyed Axis and Allies and many of the family of games, but right now I just wish I could get my money back for this one.

Just a quick note. Wizards of the Coast are going to send me an additional set of all game pieces at no cost to me! Sorta proof that they did mess up with this game. Thanks WOTC.
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