January 12, 2007

Axis & Allies Strategy Guides

Our Original Board Game Love: Axis and AlliesWe've fought each other over every inch of the the world of Axis and Allies [Amazon, Funagain] umpteen times over, and our stress levels are at an all time high. We've played so many rounds of W.W.II on GamesByEmail.com that our office has vendettas on top of vendettas, players have plans within in plans, and the parking lot is stained with the blood of numerous cut break lines.

One thing is for sure across all of our gaming sessions - the first turn means just about everything. If it goes wrong for Germany, or Russia, or UK, or Japan, then the war is all but over already. We had a problem: we wanted to make sure that we always do the right thing from the get go, and we kept second guessing ourselves. Through our numerous trials and tribulations of failed world conquest we've found solace in some Axis and Allies strategy guides that we've dug up online. We'd like to take some time on this lazy Friday afternoon to share some of these resources so that you, too, can beat the snot out of your friends. Aren't we so generous?

W.W. II at GamesByEmail.comWe should note that we play with optional the rule "Russia can't attack on the first turn", which is supported by W.W.II on GamesByEmail.com. This rule is so very important because the game is seriously imbalanced otherwise. Also, W.W. II uses the original Axis and Allies rules and board - the Axis and Allies Revised Edition is an entirely different animal so you should probably ingore those guides altogether if you can.

Okay, enough clarification and butt covering. Here are the guides we found most interesting:

  • Axis and Allies is a game of momentum, and it's oh-so-very important to get the game started off on a good note. The website Axis&Allies.org has a pair of good opening move strategies for Germany (including handling the worst case scenario if you allow Russia to attack first). Similarly, the website has some two great Russian strategies, but Russia's Opening Round is that one that fits the Russia Can't Attack rule option.

  • Steve Winter has posted an official article on the Avalon Hill website about Infantry and You: a look at the often neglected unit type. He describes the probabilities of combined arms attacks with tanks (what's the right mix) and the defense efficiency of infantry given their IPC cost. A must read to improve your overall A&A game.

  • Fall of Franco: The Spanish Option in the BGG forums does a great job of breaking down the alternative to the D-Day European invasion strategy. The 3 IPCs for violating neutrality and dodging a potentially devastating invasion is a steal.

  • "Strategic Placement of Industrial Complexes" is great read for all factions, and the title pretty much speaks for itself. Where and When is the best time to create production centers in the far stretches of 1940's industrial geography?

  • Here's a great thread about Japan's strategy (including opening moves) for placing industrial complexes on Asian soil, and another about benefits of transport manufacturing to ferry troops to Asia from Japan proper.

  • And although Germany's general strategy is fairly straight forward - attack Russia, attack Russia, then attack Russia again - here's a great article detailing the benefits, pitfalls, and percentages of attacking the UK's fleets with sea and air power. Alternatively waiting for Japanese air power for backup! Wowzers.

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at January 12, 2007 2:25 PM

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