By Matthew Bitz
Have you ever played Risk? Did you find it required a lot of strategy and tactics? Where to focus your armies, when to turn in cards and where to place your new forces on the board? If you thought Risk was challenging and fun, multiply it by a factor of 10 and you have Axis and Allies.
Axis and Allies is an intense game of tactics and skill. Set in 1942, the Axis powers are at their peak, Germany is poised to invade Russia, while Japan has captured Wake Island and is heading towards Pearl Harbor and Midway. Meanwhile, the Allies (U.S., U.K., and U.S.S.R.) are militarily very weak and vulnerable to attack. Here, however, is where this game takes a creative twist: industry is everything.
You see, the board is divided into territories, (Eastern Europe, Western Europe, etc.,) and each territory is worth a certain amount of industrial man hours according to its position and the population living there. In order to build new fighting units, (infantry, tanks, subs, transports, battleships, fighters, bombers, antiaircraft, and industrial complexes) and win the game the player must control enough territories and their manpower to build up a large enough army to seize the enemy capitals. This creates an interesting balance of economic and militaristic power, for while the Axis powers start off with large offensive armies, the Allies have the potential industry to build up massive forces that can crush their enemies.
This may sound complex, but it is only a very short synopsis of the game, which usually takes several hours and in some games I have played, a week.
Please dont take this the wrong way, but if you like playing quick board games such as Balderdash or Scattergories, this probably isnt for you. But, if you like chess, checkers, Risk, or Clue I can guarantee that youll enjoy this. It is well thought out and leaves out nothing, even the infantrymen are molded with their actual style of uniform worn in the war.
If you are looking to purchase Axis and Allies contact anyone who sells Milton and Bradley games and they should be able to order it for you.
If you like games of strategy and tactics, matching your skills against the enemy, and just want to conquer the world or vanquish the forces of evil, Id recommend you give this game a shot. Be patient, it takes a while to learn how all the different aspects of gameplay come together, but once you understand how it works, chances are you wont be able to quit.