USSR, UK, and USA vs. Nazi and Japan

A&A is, and always will be, a great WWII board game. The computer game is true to the board game. It is similar to Risk, a world map with territories that generate fighting units. But in Risk there was only one type of unit. In A&A, there are tanks, planes, ships, AA guns, factories, etc. All units have different attacking and defending strength. A bomber attacks at 4, but only defends at 1. There is also technology research. There are five teams: USSR, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, and USA. Up to five players can play, but it's best one against one.

At the beginning of the game, the Allies have more territory and production power; the Axis have more fighting units. The Axis must strike quick to have a chance at victory. The Allies have to bend, but not break, and then push back. There are different types of victories: achieve a territorial victory or capture a couple capitals. Below are my greatest (fastest) victories. Both victories were total conquests: every territory, including neutral countries, were taken. I use 2nd edition rules.

Allies9USSR restricted, axis advantage

The following is my story about the first time I played Axis and Allies on the internet at MSN's The Zone (February 2001). My first internet game was one of my bests. Metaphorically, my opponent had his boot on my throat and a gun in my face. The split second before he pulled the trigger - I shoved a grenade up his ass and won the game.

Playing on the internet is ideal for me. I can go all out. Some people I've played in the past did not have much experience so I had to go easy on them. You know, tutor them while I played. I wouldn't use my best moves and would waste units on stupid tactics. But playing on the internet I can assume my opponents know what they are doing, and I'm not playing a friend, so I don't have to worry about their feelings.

So I found an opponent and I played as the Allies. We set up one rule in his favor: "axis advantage" which gives Germany strong fighters and Japan super subs. I'll always give my opponent an advantage if they want it. Uphill battles are the best.

In the second round he sent a German transport from the Mediterranean down and takes an undefended South Africa away from my British team. And he sends me a message, "Do-eh", as if I had made a blunder. I replied with, "I didn't think you could get through the Suez Canal without controlling both sides of the Canal?" I was right. The computer corrected him and took away his move. His reply message was, "You were right." I learned two things from this: my opponent was arrogant and my opponent doesn't know the rules as well as me. In order to master a game you have to memorize all the rules. I've read the A&A rule book many, many times. I would take it to lectures when I was a student at Univ. of Iowa and read it over and over. Absorbing the rules gives one the ability to strategize. I haven't won every game of A&A I've played, but I have won every argument about the rules.

After several rounds Germany and Japan had USSR surrounded. I had driven Germany out of Africa but USSR was in serious trouble. In almost all cases, if the Allies lose USSR, they lose the game. In his Japanese turn he took out USSR and took their money. You get a team's money if you take their capitol. And Japan had about 30 tanks on the Asian continent. Africa would be easy pickings. He sent me a message, "Bye bye". Japan collected $60 to spend their next turn. The entire world is only worth $147 and Japan had $60. It was my USA turn after Japan's turn.

He made one mistake. Japan's capitol had no troops on it, however, he had it (an island) guarded by 2 super subs. Off the coast of Alaska I had: 1 aircraft carrier, 1 fighter, 1 transport, and 2 infantry. My infantry could capture the Japanese capitol only after the sea zone was cleared of his 2 super subs. He had the advantage: My carrier attacks at 1 and the fighter at 3. His super subs defend at 3. This wasn't really a risky move for me at this point. I had no choice. The Allies were lost if I didn't make it. Besides I still had a good chance. Even with mutual destruction: his 2 subs and my carrier and fighter kill each other, my transport will be alive and land 2 infantry on Japan's capitol.

When the battle came, luck rolled my way. His subs missed completely and all my units survived. Most importantly, I took Japan's capitol and it's $60. My opponent was upset but still thought he had a chance. He thought next round he'd collect money from the territories Japan still controlled, build lots of units with the 4 factories he owned, and blast me. But again, he did not fully understand the rules. In the next round Japan moved some tanks around and collected $0. My opponent sent me a message, "Where's my money?" I replied, "You don't have a capitol. You don't have a bank." What made this so fabulous is that his 30 tanks were worthless. Many times a player will lose a capitol but can take it right back the next round. But Japan's capitol is an island, and tanks can't swim. And without money, he could not build any transports to ferry his tanks to the capitol. He was screwed.

Eventually the USA built lots of units on on the Japanese capitol, landed them on Asia, and destroyed all the Japan tanks and took their territories. My opponent eventually surrendered. He admitted his mistake, acknowledging that if he had only put one or two infantry in the Japanese capitol my attack would have failed. I told him, "You gotta watch your back door." But arrogant people never do.

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