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Axis & Allies FAQ v1.4

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Archive-name: games/axis+allies
Last-modified: 06/10/1996
Version: 1.4

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Axis & Allies FAQ v1.4 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

*Maintained by:     Peter Goudswaard (
Co-maintained by:  Dewey Barich (

* New or modified items are designated by an asterisk in front!


Table of Contents

*0. New in This Issue
 1. Blurb
*2. Contributor List
*3. What am I reading and where do I find it?
 4. What if I disagree with something in this FAQ?
 5. What is Axis & Allies?
*6. What are the Second Edition Rules?
*7. What are some common rule misconceptions?
*8. Can I get additional game parts?
 9. Can I make the game more realistic by creating a Pearl Harbor?
 10. Is the game imbalanced?
 11. How do I balance the game?
*12. Can I play by email (PBEM)?
 13. Are there expansion sets available?
*14. Are there any good house rules available?
 15. What are the effects of using the 2nd Edition optional rules?
 16. How do I calculate the probability of units hitting or missing?
 17. Are there any game conventions that include Axis & Allies games?
*18. What kind of tournament rules are used?
 19. Is Axis & Allies available on computer?
*20. Are there any computerized game aids available?

Subject: *0. New in This Issue I have a new email address: Dewey's remains the same, but Britt Klein's, the maintainer of the Official A&A FAQ FTP Site, has changed to This edition has many small administrative changes in its pages, but once again the rule misconceptions section has some changes.
Subject: 1. Blurb All trademarks and copyrights acknowledged property of the Milton Bradley Company. This article is copyright 1996 by Peter Goudswaard and may not be reproduced in any form without permission by the author, except for personal use or redistribution through normal Usenet channels and no fee is charged for such use. Reproduction on CD-ROM is permitted if two copies of the CD's are given as payment to the authors. Please feel free to email suggestions for this FAQ! *Maintained by: Peter Goudswaard ( Co-maintained by: Dewey Barich (
Subject: *2. Contributor List The contributor list will now only list *new* contributors for this issue of the FAQ. If there is a section in the FAQ that you contributed to, and you want your name and email address to appear next to it (in case Milton Bradley wants to hire YOU for A&A 2!) just drop me a note. Thanks to the following for their contributions:
Subject: *3. What am I reading and where do I find it? You are reading the unofficial Axis & Allies FAQ. It answers some of the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding the game Axis & Allies. It is available from and is posted on news.answers, rec.answers, and It is also available from the unofficial Axis & Allies ftp site, from The site is mirrored at: The structure of our directory on is as follows: /pub/rpg/axis+allies/ - the latest version of the FAQ /pub/rpg/axis+allies/variants/ - variants and house rules /pub/rpg/axis+allies/utils/ - miscellaneous utilities If you do not have ftp access or Usenet news, you can request the latest FAQ from Britt Klein, the maintainer of our ftp site. Send her email at, and ask her for the latest Axis & Allies FAQ. New submissions should also be sent to her by email. * The FAQ will also be available on the upcoming Official A&A FAQ Web Page. As of now, any web search engine should point you in the right direction if you search for "Axis & Allies FAQ", but note that we are not affiliated with many of the existing A&A web products. There is a FAQ which can be obtained from the same locations as this FAQ. If you do not have anonymous ftp access, you can access the archives by mail server as well. Send an e-mail message to with "help" and "index" in the body on separate lines for more information. The FAQ is posted at least monthly. Due to a backup disaster, a version history and back issues from v0.9 onward only are available by special request from the maintainer of this FAQ.
Subject: 4. What if I disagree with something in this FAQ? There are only two possibilities: either I'll stand corrected and add your name to the list of contributors, or I'll email you telling you why I won't stand corrected. Please, there are many opinions on the hows and whys of the game, so if you have a beef, don't post it, please email me and we'll chat.
Subject: 5. What is Axis & Allies? A company called Nova Game Design, Inc. introduced Axis & Allies at the 1981 Origins convention. The pieces were brightly colored cardboard shapes like triangle tanks, hexagonal fighters, and round anti-aircraft units. In the Nova Games edition, there were many differences from the current Milton Bradley version that most are familiar with. For example, submarines were not hindered by enemy naval units, and could run a blockade by moving two spaces right through an enemy fleet. Also, neutrals were more of a factor, like Spain, although a neutral, contributed 3 to the German economy. Most neutrals also had an economic value. For weapons development, the current Heavy Bombers was originally the Atomic Bomb. And the Nova version also had kamikaze attacks for the Japanese, moveable Russion factories, US Marines, the British Home Guard, and German SS Panzerkorps. Three years later, after slumping sales, Milton Bradley took over, and Axis & Allies became part of their Gamemaster line of wargames, which has included Broadsides & Boarding Parties, Fortress America, Conquest of the Empire, and Shogun. Axis & Allies is a two to five player wargame that takes place in the spring of 1942. Players control Britain, USA, Russia, Japan and Germany. It is considered by many to be a "beer and pretzels" game, due to its over-simplification of warfare. But the well-designed plastic units and large, bright box attract many first-time wargamers, and the ability to run an entire war in an evening attracts even more hard-core gamers.
Subject: *6. What are the Second Edition Rules? The Second Edition Rules were released to both clarify existing rules and improve game play and balance. You can order a set of the Second Edition Rules by sending US$2.00 to: CO Department BP Milton Bradley Company 443 Shaker Road E. Longmeadow, MA 01028 You can also ask for the rules clarifications, a short, four page pamphlet describing unclear rules. And it's free. One reader, *Joe Darcy (, sent away for the free rules clarifications, and received another copy of the manual, free! YMMV. Everything contained in this FAQ, and most discussion on refer to the Second Edition Rules. If you don't have them, get them! *Another source is the Official A&A FAQ FTP site:
Subject: *7. What are some common rule misconceptions? The purpose of this section is to review some rules issues that are commonly misinterpreted or misunderstood. It is necessary to review several things before getting to rules. 1) It is important to know where to look for rules. The manual is of course the first place. And, in many games it is the only place to find answers. But, with Axis and Allies there is another: The Rules Clarifications. This is a four page insert that has come with the game (and manuals ordered from MB) since 1991. These have answered a number of issues for many players. 2) Criterion for judging. When possible, I will cite the Rules Manual, the Rules Clarifications or responses from letters to Milton Bradley. If none of these is feasible, I will make a judgement, which will always be overridden by anything MB prints should we disagree. If you disagree with a call I make, send me a note and we can discuss it. 3) Without upsetting any readers, let me make an observation. Having been reading for several years now, as well as general A&A experience, I have noticed that *many* of the questions that arise could be answered with a good read of the Manual and/or Clarifications. I simply cannot emphasize how much a good reading and understanding of the rules is worth. There are plenty of valid reasons still for not having it all down, and that is why we have this section. But for your benefit, try to find the answers in the rules. 4) Some advice: whenever you are looking to answer a question, be as objective as possible. When possible, use direct statements in context. If we all did that, then no questions would arise over things that are covered in the rules. Still, there are a number of grey issues that still require attention. Try to avoid using the argument "The Rules don't say I *can't*." If used at all, this should only be used as a last resort. Remember: The absence of evidence is *NOT* evidence of absence! 5) Don't forget about house rules! Many players modify the rules in their own group, but then forget which rules are which and argue endlessly when they play with someone else. House rules are fine, but do not forget the "official" rules. 6) In the actual rules citations below, "Manual" refers to the Second Edition Rules Manual, "Clarifications" refers to the Rules Clarifications (released in 1991), and "Communication with Milton Bradley(date)" refers to a correspondance between me and Milton Bradley. The date gives date they wrote the letter to me. Organization of this section: There are now two sections of rule discussions. The first is composed of questions that are clearly stated in the Manual and or Clarifications. The second contains more obscure questions. The second section will understandably have some less concrete arguments. Section 1: Rules often missed but stated in the Rules *What constitutes a turn? A round? A turn is a player's six action sequence (Weapons Development/ Purchase Units, Combat Movement, Combat, Non-Combat Movement, Place New Units, Collect Income). Source: Manual, page 4. A round is the sequence of all 5 players' turns. Source: Manual, page 4 (first paragraph). When do AA guns fire? AA guns fire during enemy combat movement ONLY. Source: Manual, page 13 (middle column, under "Antiaircraft Guns"). *Where can aircraft land? During the non-combat phase of a player's turn, he may land his aircraft in any territory that he or one of his allies have controlled since the beginning of his turn, provided the remaining movement alotment can get the plane there safely. In other words, the state of the board when that player's turn started defines all legal landing spaces for that player's aircraft during that player's Non-Combat Movement. Source: Manual, page 21 (top section, "Non-Combat Movement"). Note the definitions of turn and round above. What can retreat from an amphibious assault? Nothing. All units involved fight to the death. Source: Clarifications, page 3 (top right). In an amphibious assault, when can battleships use their one-shot support? a) A battleship must be in the same sea zone as the transport(s). b) There can *not* have been any combat in the sea zone (and you cannot hold battleships back from clearing the sea zone). Source: a) Manual, page 15 (column 3, paragraph 3). b) Clarifications, page 3 (middle under "Amphibious Assaults"), and Manual, page 15 (right, under "Important" under "Note"). How do fighters move when on an ally's carrier? If you have any fighters on an ally's carrier and that carrier moves during your ally's turn, your fighters just ride along, with no loss of movement factors from your planes. Source: Clarifications, page 3 (right, under "Carriers And Fighters"). *How do fighters fight on an ally's carrier? If a carrier attacks while carrying an ally's fighter(s), the fighters cannot fight, but can be taken as losses, provided the owner of the non-fighting fighter consents to the loss. Source: Communication with Milton Bradley (dated July 27, 1995). How many *new* industrial complexes can be built during a game? Four. There are eight on the board at the start of the game, and there are twelve complex pieces. The number of locations that have a specific unit type is always dependent of the number provided. This also means that any country could only have bombers in three places, carriers in two, subs in six, etc. The number of units in each place is unlimited, but the number of locations is not. Source: Clarifications, page 4 (bottom right, "More Markers?"). Section 2: Situations not covered clearly in the rules. What defines a legal sea zone for withdrawing subs? For attacking subs, this is more clear. Attacking subs must withdraw to an adjacent sea zone from which any attacking naval vessels came (Source: Manual, page 17, under "Where:"). For defending subs, this is more complex. Defending subs must withdraw to any friendly or unoccupied adjacent sea zone (Source: Manual, page 17, under "Where:". But, what is unoccupied? A sea zone becomes unoccupied when the attacker vacates it. Source: Communication with Milton Bradley (dated July 27, 1995). So, during the combat phase of a turn, a defending sub can withdraw into a sea zone that the enemy had left during that same turn's combat movement phase. Thus, it does not matter if the attacking units that left the zone might or might not retreat. Note: I personally disagree with this statement from MB, as it violates a principal that I have noted the spirit of throughout the rules. The principal is that "the state of the board at the beginning of the present turn defines what is legal." This idea applies to legal landing spaces and use of canals, even to the point that, for example, if during the first turn Egypt falls to Germany and *then* the UK sub south of Turkey is attacked and missed, it can go through the canal even though Germany has already captured Egypt. However, I recognize MB as the experts and thus will accept it, pending further questions -- Dewey Barich. How do transports unload units into two territories? This is by far one of the most complicated issues in the rules. There is an example in the Manual that shows a UK transport dropping into Finland and Western Europe during the same turn. There are two observations that must be made here: 1) The infantry are being dropped from the same sea zone 2) The UK controls both territories A question then arises: Can a transport drop into two territories *only* during non-combat? Or can they be dropped to two territories in combat movement as well? Due to the example *specifically* stating that the UK can drop into both Finland *and* Western Europe, the interpretation here is that "split landings" are legal only during the non-combat phase. In a situation where a transport with two infantry moves 1 or 2 spaces, and is adjacent to two countries, a question arises whether the infantry can unload one to each of those two countries, and whether it is allowed in both combat and non-combat portions. Let us take the manual's example of a tranport that bridges two infantry from Britain to Norway and Western Europe. Now, the example on page 16, 2nd column says that the transport can drop one infantry in Norway and one in Western Europe, *if the UK controlled these territories*. This states that the UK must own the territories, which means that either (1) bridging is only allowed during non-combat movement, or (2) that unloading to two territories is only permitted during non-combat movement. Which is it? The definition of a transport is that they are "...naval units that transport land units from *one* coastal territory or island to *another*." Yet the example clearly shows a transport moving land units from *one* coastal territory to *two*, during non-combat movement. Since a transport could, in the example given, load two UK infantry, move to an adjacent sea zone, then move back, unloading units to those two territories legally on its *combat* movement phase, then the premise that bridging is only allowed during the non-combat phase can be easily circumvented. The second premise, that unloading to two territories is only permitted during non-combat movement, has no such work-around, and is clearly stated in the same example. If an example in a rule book does not correspond explicitly to a rule in that same rulebook, does that make it illegal? Or does the inclusion of the example in the rulebook automatically give it validity as a rule? Most would agree with the latter, since the former creates is contradiction and the latter does not. So then, if you believe that the example in the book is valid, it appears that unloading to two territories is only allowed during non-combat. In the combat phase, unloading is only possible in an amphibious assault situation (after all, you cannot attack ships with the transport and unload the units at sea). In an amphibious assault, the rules give no clues as to whether a transport can amphibiously assault 2 territories in the same turn. It would be wrong to assume that it could, because the absence of evidence is not evidence. So unless an example or the rules state or even imply something, the best course of action is to assume that such an action cannot be done. Source: Manual, page 16, bottom of second column, and page 15, right column.
Subject: *8. Can I get additional game parts? You can purchase additional sets of plastic units for US$10.00 for each package of 299 units at the following address: CO Department BP Milton Bradley Company 443 Shaker Road E. Longmeadow, MA 01028 Joseph Darcy ( informs us that additional dice and chips are available for US$2.00 a set, which includes shipping and handling. Will Wible ( has purchased a set of the cardboard charts for US$3.00.
Subject: 9. Can I make the game more realistic by creating a Pearl Harbor? The real answer is, no. By swapping the US battleship on the west coast with the Hawaiian aircraft carrier, it may look like a Pearl Harbor setup, but the game takes place in spring of 1942, several months after the event, which was on December 7, 1941.
Subject: 10. Is the game imbalanced? The general consensus is yes, in favour of the Allies. If you do not agree with this, you will find plenty of people who would be willing to on Put "A&A: Axis always win" or something similar in your subject line, and watch for postings telling you that the Allied player must be an amateur! See the section "How do I balance the game?" ahead in this FAQ for the Milton Bradley answer to the game not being balanced.
Subject: 11. How do I balance the game? This is a touchy subject. Milton Bradley has acknowledged the fact that the game is imbalanced by introducing three rules options that weigh a victory towards the Axis (summarized from the Second Edition Rules): - Weapons Development Benefits: The German player starts with Jet Power, and the Japan player starts with Super Subs. - Restricted Attack: The USSR player is not allowed to attack until the second turn. - No New Complexes: No new industrial complexes can be bought or placed. Only original complexes can be used. The second optional rule, Restricted Attack, has been used very successfully at some game conventions, and many experienced players swear by it. Of course it depends on the calibre of the players, but for an even field it can give the Axis enough of a breathing space to make some headway before the awesome crushing power of the Allied production advantage takes hold. The No New Complexes is very controversial. William Jockusch ( notes that "it keeps the Japanese from building complexes in mainland Asia, which they need to do." Japan suffers far more than the Allies from this rule.
Subject: *12. Can I play by email (PBEM)? Yes, several play by email systems (also known as PBEM) have been used. One is available from Dewey Barich (, email him for information, or if you'd like to get involved in a PBEM game. He also hosts the Annual Axis & Allies Internet Tournament, which goes on for most of the year. There will be an announcement posted to in the fall to begin recruiting players for the tournament. There is a new contact list called "The Axis & Allies Playing Field", and it gets players together for PBEM games. It has the largest list for A&A of the groups listed. Contact the following people by email if you are interested: Normal Axis & Allies: Chris Goldfarb ( Richard Willis ( Variants & Expansion Set Games: Morten Steinvik ( Dag Rune Kvittem ( * Also, Eric Pass ( maintains the PBEM Gamers Directory, which attempts to get people together to play games by email. Contact him if you wish to be on the list, and make sure you mention Axis & Allies, since his list contains other games as well. A&A has the largest membership on his list!
Subject: 13. Are there expansion sets available? Yes! The following descriptions are courtesy of 3 Trolls Games, (P.O. Box 4095, South Chelmsford, MA 01824-0795, USA, telephone 1-800-342-6373 in North America), who were kind enough to allow us to use the descriptions from their catalogue. This is not to be considered as an endorsement, only a source for the following A&A enhancements. The prices are approximate, and in U.S. dollars. 3 Trolls Games, or your local game shop, may sell for less. Gamer's Paradise: Axis & Allies WWII Expansion ($20) Add submarines, air patrols, and increased industrial production that introduces destroyers, destroyer escorts, and cruisers. Gamer's Paradise: Axis & Allies WWII Expansion II ($25) Adds German SS, US Marines, British commandoes, paratroopers, trucks, artillery, and includes 80 colour counters. Gamer's Paradise: Axis & Allies WWII Expansion III ($50) The bombing of Tokyo through the historical events that led up to the Battle of Midway are re-created here. The vinyl map is 76cm by 127cm (30" x 50"). StratoMax: Max's Advanced Rules ($10) This expansion contains 20 optional rules, including paratroopers, kamikazes, strategic bombing raids, escort fighters, and expanded weapons development. Since it is a rules-only package, it uses existing A&A components. Xeno Publications: The World at War 1939 - 1945 (Map and rules $20, playing pieces $30) This is actually two separate packages. The first includes a map for new territories, and the new rules, which include 2 new players (France and China), rail movement, and political influence. The second package includes 238 new plastic playing pieces, including sub pens and a new ship type. You may wish to paint a dot or other unique mark on the Chinese and Japanese units to distinguish them from the US and British units, respectively. It can be difficult to tell them apart at times.
Subject: *14. Are there any good house rules available? Yes, and they can be found at the Official Axis & Allies FAQ anonymous ftp site at Many thanks go to Britt Klein for maintaining the site. If you want your variant or house rules stored there, please send Britt ( a message telling her what it is you would like to upload. She is *not* accepting ftp uploads; file submissions are being taken by email only. Britt can answer any questions you may have about how to upload your submissions. Also, another good A&A ftp site is maintained by Marcus Augustus Alzona (Marcus+@CMU.EDU) as follows:
Subject: 15. What are the effects of using the 2nd Edition optional rules? Total Victory: In the normal rules, a military win occurs when either side captures two enemy capitals, but with the Total Victory rule, it is also a requirement that you and your alliance's capitals cannot be in enemy hands. Basically this may prolong the game, and perhaps a wise opponent may use this rule to throw a small wrench into what may seem to be an easy victory. Placing Your Naval Units in Enemy-Occupied Sea Zones: With this new rules variation, you may place new naval units in *enemy-occupied* sea zones adjacent to industrial complexes you have owned since the beginning of your turn. It is up to your enemy to either retreat from the sea zone or attack your ships. This changes the game a fair amount, although no side can claim an unfair advantage. In the normal rules, placing your ships in enemy zones in effect constitutes a naval blockade and shutdown of enemy shipyards. The optional rule neutralizes this tactic, and allows full use of all shipbuilding potential. I would be interested to hear what experiences you have had with this rule in the short-term, say the first 2 or 3 turns. The next three optional rules weigh the advantage towards the Axis alliance. The second rule, Restricted Attack, seems to be the most popular, judging strictly by what I've read on the net. I don't believe that Milton Bradley suggests using all three at once; I would think that the Restricted Attack rule would give the most advantage, then the Weapons Development Benefits, then the least advantage to the Axis would be the No New Complexes optional rule. This FAQ is open to a change of opinion on this, and if you're looking for something to do, play a couple of games using each of the three last optional rules to see which made the most difference. Weapons Development Benefits: This rules variation gives the Germany player Jet Power and the Japan player Super Submarines at the start of the game. Super Subs would help Japan decimate the American Pacific fleet and keep the Pacific for itself, and cheaply! German Jet Power may not be as useful to Germany as Subs to the Japanese, since Jet Power is a defensive capability; and Germany needs more offense than it does expensive defense. Restricted Attack: The USSR player is not allowed to attack until the second turn, which in effect gives Germany a great opportunity to set the tone of the European theatre, and it also denies the vulnerable USSR time to prepare a defensive posture. It is a far-reaching optional rule. No New Complexes: Only industrial complexes placed at the start of the game are used. If you are a player that likes to set up a new factory in India or Finland-Norway, you will have to change your style. If you rarely build new complexes, this rule will not make much difference. As previously stated, though, this is a controversial rule. The point is that Japan not being able to build a new complex in Asia is a greater detriment to the Axis than the Allies.
Subject: 16. How do I calculate the probability of units hitting or missing? This task can be quite daunting. For the most part, the difficulty depends on the number of units involved. To correctly determine the odds of a particular result, you multiply the chance of hitting for each unit involved. For example, take two battleships (keeping the odds balanced for now). The attacking battleship has a 4/6 (everything will be in sixths here) chance of hitting. No matter that roll, the defending battleship also has a 4/6 chance of hitting. With two results per die (hit or miss, though the chances are weighted), there are a total of four possible outcomes. They are: Attacker Defender Probability Result 1 Hit Hit ==> (4/6) * (4/6) = 16/36 Mutual Annihilation 2 Hit Miss ==> (4/6) * (2/6) = 8/36 Attacker Wins 3 Miss Hit ==> (2/6) * (4/6) = 8/36 Defender Wins 4 Miss Miss ==> (2/6) * (2/6) = 4/36 Draw; continue Note that the sum of the probabilities is 1. This makes for a simple means of verifying your work. Adding more units makes this calculation much more complicated. To calculate such odds, you must take into consideration all rolls. This task can be simplified by creating a binary tree. To generate a binary tree, draw a branch for each possible outcome (hit or miss) for each unit involved for each round of combat. Keep them all in a "path" within the tree (e.g., you should be able to go from the left (top) of the tree all the way to the right (bottom) and have a representation of every die rolled during a specific battle). So, for example, if there were two attacking units and one defending, you would show both attackers one after the other, then the defender (by now, there are eight outcomes), then continue based on the outcomes of those rolls. Be sure to label each branch (Mutual Annihilation, Attacker Wins, etc.). I always work sideways and make the upward branch the hit branch and label it by placing the number of ways (out of six!) that a hit could be rolled. Likewise, the downward branch is for misses and is labelled with the number of ways (out of six!) to miss. For the battleship example above: Result Probability Defender 4 / Mutual Annihilation (16/36) / Attacker < / \ 4 / 2 \ Attacker Wins (8/36) / Start < \ 2 \ 4 / Defender Wins (8/36) \ / < \ 2 \ Draw (4/36) To get the probabilities, divide each number by 6 and multiply all numbers on a path from left (top) to right (bottom). Write this result at the left (bottom) of the tree next to the label of the outcome at the end of that path. When you have all those numbers, add all fractions of similar labels (like Mutual Annihilation or Attacker Wins), no matter where in the tree it is. This sum is the probability of that outcome. The sum of all outcomes is 1 (or a mistake has been made). But, what to do at "Draw"? By the rules, you continue the battle (as we are concerned about the odds of possible outcomes we will not consider withdraw options). If units have been lost, they will no longer appear in the tree. Each "Draw" could actually be considered the "Start" of a new battle with only the units that survived to get to that "Draw". In this example, the entire tree could be copied and placed where the "Draw" is located, though this would become a recursive loop (which would never end), making calculations quite difficult. There is a simplification! Recall that to find the odds for an outcome when the tree is complete, you will add the fractions of all occurances of that outcome. Under the "Draw" node, you will find the same ratios of results as in the parent branch immediately above it, thus as you add the fractions that occur under it, you do so in the same proportions as the top tree (so, as the number of recursive branches approaches infinity, you reach a limit for the other outcomes and the "Draw" probability becomes zero). With that, you can ignore the "Draw" branch with one provision: Instead of counting the other outcomes out of 36, count them out of 36 minus the 4 occurances of draw. This is of course 32. This simplification will work at each "Draw", but take care to normalize each "Draw" node separately. This is done so that the sum of probabilities is still 1 (called normalization). So, the odds of a mutual annihilation with two warring battleships is 0.50, and of either combatant winning is 0.25. While this is how you can calculate the exact odds of a result, it is obviously no easy task when there are more than a few units! While all you have to do is separate between the three results above, you can distinguish more. For example, Attaker wins but loses two units, Defender wins but loses three units, or Mutual Annihilation. With more categories you can get a more detailed breakdown of the outcomes. This obviously takes more time, but is quite feasible. For a more in-depth discussion, or if more explanations of the odds mechanism is needed, please email Dewey Barich (
Subject: 17. Are there any game conventions that include Axis & Allies games? Yes. Coyt D. Watters ( maintains an excellent list of game conventions (The Big Con List) that he posts to If your system supports the finger command, you can also get the list by using the command: finger The largest gaming convention in the world, GenCon, is held every year in the US, and attracts over 30,000 people for a 4-day gaming marathon. Included in this is the A&A Mega-Tourney, where 64 or 128 teams of 2 to 4 players compete for the tournament's A&A World Championship. It is the closest thing to an international event, so if you want to show how good you are, this is the place to do it. Check The Big Con List for dates and location.
Subject: *18. What kind of tournament rules are used? Some tournament rules that work very well are also useful for "fun" single games with your friends, and involve no restrictions on the game as is. If you've seen an interesting or unusual tournament rule or system, let me know. Bidding System I (reported by Will Wible ( Russia can attack, and the Axis aren't given any free weapon developments. Players register with the GM as a team of one or two people, submitting a secret bid for the privilege of playing the Allies. This bid is a number from 0 to 10. Once all the bids are received, the GM then ranks them in order from highest to lowest. The top half are the Allied teams, the bottom the Axis teams. Pairs are highest to highest, and on down. For example, with six teams, bidding as follows: A bids 3, B bids 0, C bids 5, D bids 3, E bids 2, F bids 1 They are ranked: C 5, A 3, D 3, E 2, F 1, B 0. Ties are resolved randomly -- just roll a die. Games are then set up as follows: Allies vs Axis Game 1 -- C vs E Game 2 -- A vs F Game 3 -- D vs B Now, this is just an assignment technique, as good as any, and perhaps better than most. However, where the numbers come in is with economic aid to the Axis players, which they can spend in any way they wish. This is income not represented on the board which cannot be taken away from the Axis players, except through loss of their capital as normal. Each Axis nation receives IPC bonuses equal to the _difference_ in bids between them and their opponent. Using the example above, in Game 1, both Germany and Japan for Team E receive 5 - 2 = 3 extra IPCs _per turn_. At the start of the game, Germany receives 35 IPCs, and Japan receives 28. It's a wonderful system because it has feedback built into it. In addition, it works for a casual game just the same as in a tournament situation. For tournaments, the further selection of the eventual winner is still up to the GM -- the above system doesn't enforce a particular method. Single elimination, double elimination, Swiss and other methods can all be used. Bidding System II (reported by J.C. Hamlin ( Like the Bidding System I, this involves 2 players bidding down the Axis economic victory conditions. The player who bids the lowest gets to play the Allies, and the Axis player only needs to get the number bid by the Allied player to win by an economic victory. Conservative bids were in the 76ish range, and aggressive bids were at 71-73. This was used at the A&A World Championships at GenCon. Bidding System III (reported by J.C. Hamlin ( A new method introduced at GenCon in 1995 involves bidding up IPCs for Axis initial placements on the board. These IPCs are spent on builds for both Germany and Japan, and are placed on the board anywhere the Axis wants them to *before* the game begins. The highest bidder gets to play the Allies, and the other player must play the Axis but gets to build and place using the other player's IPC bid before the game begins. This leads to a much more balanced and usually longer (>4 hrs) game, and more interesting because the initial setup can be different every game. Increasing Unit Costs: Reid Gagle ( One idea from the New Crusades that could be used in A&A is that of increasing unit costs. I find it boring when Russia builds all men most turns, Germany all tanks, and the US all aircraft, even though it's often the best strategy. Increasing unit costs means each additional item of one type produced per factory costs one extra. If you have two factories, and want to build 8 men, they cost 6 for the first two, 8 for the second two, 10 for the third two, and 12 for the seventh and eighth men, for a total of 36 rather than 16. If that's too strict, you could have it kick in after 2/factory -- 8 men then costing 12 for the first four and 16 for the second four. This provides incentives to get a mix of forces that would make games more interesting. With these rules in effect, the less expensive items would no longer be available in quantity, and the normally more expensive items would actually become a better value! This is a far-reaching rule that merits at least one attempt! Blind A&A: David Bedno ( Use 2 boards and a referee, and essentially the Axis and Allies can't see what's in an an area unoccupied by them until they they either fly over it, attack it, or move into it. Planes that get shot down note what's in the space they get shot down in, but not what they saw on the way there. The 2 sides can be separated by a large screen, or they can be in two different rooms, and the referee resolves what is seen. Tournament Award Ideas: Put a country card in a nice frame with non-glare glass and a small plaque at the bottom. It makes a relevant, inexpensive award! *The A&A Multi-Player Mega-Variant has now been removed, and it can be found at the A&A FTP site listed in section 14.
Subject: 19. Is Axis & Allies available on computer? Philips Media has a CD-i version of Axis & Allies by CapDisc available now for US$37.50, call 1-800-CAPDISC in the U.S. If you are interested in ordering discs for resale, call the Philips CD-i Direct Orderline at 1-800-824-2567 in the U.S. Also, there have been a few attempts by various readers of to produce a working version. [If you want your program mentioned, please let me know.] Chris Adamson, maintainer of the 'CD-i Reviews & Info' web page,, gives the following review of A&A for CD-i: "For now, it's the only game in town as far as computer-mediated A&A goes, but CapDisc's version for the CD-i leaves much to be desired. The first of its two great sins is the interface: painfully confusing, your controls change radically depending on what you're doing. Meanwhile, the save feature consumes 75% of the CD-i player's storage (6,500 bytes to remember where the pieces are for one turn?), making it practically useless. The upside? Popular house rules are available, and you get digitized B&W war footage running constantly at the bottom left of the screen." Many readers, disappointed by the lack of a computerized version of Axis & Allies, have repeatedly asked other netters what other games exist on computer that are similar to A&A. Due to the variety of games that might fill this role, we suggest you ask on the newsgroup You are bound to get some helpful replies.
Subject: *20. Are there any computerized game aids available? J.C. Hamlin ( has a DOS program available that also computes the results of A&A battles. This program is shareware, and the current version level is 1.2. This program is written for a PC in 80x25 color text mode. It handles the entire attack sequence, including AA, off-shore shells, and subs. It does both land and sea battles (but not combined attacks, yet), it handles technology, and it allows you to set attack and defense strategies and objectives (save the bombers, take the territory, retreat the planes, etc), which basically allow you to specify how you want your pieces to be lost, when you want to retreat, and special case things like saving an infantry or tank to take the territory. It displays the 12 most likely outcomes (based on remaining pieces) with the number of times and percentage of the time each outcome happens, and exact piece counts for those outcomes. It also summarizes outcomes in several categories: attacker wins (takes territory, doesn't take), defender wins (attacker destroyed, attacker retreated), nothing left, and defending subs get away. It displays the number of times and percentage of the time each category occurred, and the average number of remaining pieces for that category. It can be found at the Official A&A FAQ FTP Site:
Subject: 21. WANTED -- (C)1996 Peter Goudswaard ( Please feel free to email suggestions for this FAQ! -- Peter Goudswaard |~~~~~~| _/^\_ |~~~~~~| An Axis & Allies FAQ Maintainer | | _/\_\ /_/\_ | | |ZX-11D| >___________< |VF500F| |______| | |______|

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM