Axis & Allies takes the spectacle of World War II and condenses it down to a board game small enough to fit on your kitchen table (but only just barely). Like the game Risk, Axis & Allies uses a board game of a map of the world broken up into various pieces that forces you to strategize your path to victory. Players will have to coordinate with their teammates if they want to beat the opposite powers and win the war.
Choose Your Power
Axis & Allies puts you right smack dab in the middle of World War II in the year 1942. For those of you who aren’t history buffs, this was right when the Axis powers were at their peak. Players have to choose between the Allies and the Axis powers to decide which cause they’re going to fight for during the game. The Allies are split up into the US, Great Britain, and Russia, while the Axis powers are Germany and Japan.
Depending on which power you choose, you’ll have a different goal. The goal for the Allied powers is to claim the two Axis capitals on the board. For the Axis powers, however, you have two options: either take over two of the three Allied capitals or absorb enough of the other side to claim an “Economic” victory.
Pieces of the Game
Axis & Allies is well-known for its length, its intricate game board, and its sprawling number of pieces. The gameboard depicts the world as it was during the Spring of 1942, with countries that are color-coded based on where the power lies. The game board is quite large to allow for all of the pieces to fit within the various countries.
Every player in the game gets a little styrofoam tray packed with little pieces including Infantry, Bombers, Submarines, Aircraft Carriers, and more. They’ll also use little chips to denote extra units of a certain type, which you can stack underneath to signify major forces. Players also get to use paper money to buy new units or to use in weapons development.
Let There Be War
The game goes in turns, with Allies and Axis powers going back and forth to make moves, develop weapons, and stage assaults. Players begin by trying to develop weapons or purchase more units before moving their pieces into position to stage an attack. The main portion of the game occurs when the Axis and Allied players engage in combat, using Bombers, Fighters, Infantry, and Tanks to wipe out the other players.
Axis & Allies certainly involves long and tense gameplay as players go back and forth engaging in combat, transporting troops, building Factories, and earning income. The possibility for endless strategy makes Axis & Allies one of the most intricate and challenging games on the market, but it’s well worth it for hardcore gamers who love a good challenge.
Axis & Allies Later Editions
Axis & Allies has released several later editions since the board game was initially released in 1981. The Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition adds the third Axis nation of Italy while expanding the game board and including over 600 pieces.
Axis & Allies: 1942 also expands the game board while adding five new sculpts and a few rules changes to make the game even more challenging. Axis & Allies: 1941 goes in the opposite direction, simplifying the game in order to introduce new players to the mechanics of A&A.
Axis & Allies: A Blast from the Past
Axis & Allies is playable by 2-5 players, as there are a total of five possible world powers to choose from. It’s also suitable for ages 12 and up, although it may take younger players a while to get acquainted with the rules of the game. The playing time for Axis & Allies is around 3 hours, so it’s definitely not the kind of game you can play a quick round of.
Axis & Allies is definitely on the more advanced side when it comes to board games, but it’s been a lasting power for decades. The complexity of the game is both its best and worst attribute, but if you’re up for a good challenge you’ll love it. Put your brainpower to the test and buy Axis & Allies today!