Two nights ago, one of the sergeants I work with invited me to his house for a game o Axis and Allies. We had enough players to fill all five countries, though most of the players were new or had played little.
I’d never played the game since it was takenover by Wizards of the Coast. There have been some significant but I think very good changes made to the game. The biggest changes were as follows:
- Price changes to many of the units. For instance, the battleship costs 20 instead of 25, subs are cheapers as are transports.
- New units. You can buy destroyers and cruisers, as well as artillary pieces. Destroyers play a big role as escorts because they remove the ability of subs to use sneak attacks in their sectors. Cruisers are like battleships as they can use off shore bombardment, but are a little weaker.
- New rules. Quite a few changes to the rules. Battleships can take two hits. Sub sneak attacks are quite different and lethal. Cargo ships no longer get a defensive rating and cannot be used as “fodder” to absorb hits in combat; they have to go when there’s nothing else left, thus it’s very important to escort. Industrial bombing reduces the number of units that can be built at that complex, instead of just removing IPCs. Tanks are beefed up; they now defend and attack at a 3.
- New pieces and map. Each country has pieces modeled after their respective equipment used in WWII. The Germans have, for instance, Panther tanks and the Russians T-34s. Even the transports are different.
All and all, I think the game is very much improved. The only problem I had was with the new map. The various sector borders are not clearly marked, especially in Eastern Europe, which is particularly bad since that’s where the majority of units end up.
I ended up playing Great Britain. The German player was quite smug when he destroyed my navy. Unfortunately for him, he got booted out of Africa quite quickly (this is major strategic need of Germany, as Africa, once taken, is worth 13 IPCs and seems to go unmolested the rest of the game) and while he was busy throwing gobs of IPCs into making naval units, actually allowed Russia to go on the offensive. I had my revenge when I first committed to an amphibious assault on Western Europe, took control of it, then on the next turn did the same to Berlin. Germany’s IPCs were mine, all mine and the Axis soon capitulated.