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Author Topic: Alpha +3 rules PDF  (Read 5111 times)
Cow
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2012, 01:01:46 pm »
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Honestly, I think they are going to publish the pdf rules after the reprint hits, probably why they don't want other sources compiling the rules. In case they make minor changes, add faq stuff in, etc etc etc.
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Herr KaLeun
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2012, 01:14:54 pm »
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The Europe PDF was never available.

Not through any official channel, but someone on this forum was kind enough to scan it for us:
http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=20856.0

It is my understanding that the latest rules can be found by combining the Global rule set from the Europe rulebook with the contents of this post:

http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=6149

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Young Grasshopper
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2012, 03:42:32 pm »
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I would think there is restrictions on intellectual property such as game mechanics, I know we are only talking about copyright laws, but you guys are making it sound like I could recreate Axis and Aillies as long as I rename it and give it a whole different look and feel.
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Herr KaLeun
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2012, 04:54:09 pm »
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Of course you can. There's nothing unique about the game mechanics of A&A. Just look at what's there:
- A world map
- A division into territories that can be captured, some of which have a "capital" (VC)
- Economic value that differs per territory
- Money (IPC's)
- Different units that fight at different strengths
- Improvements that can be bought (tech)

All of those elements exist in many other board games, though not necessarily combined in the same way. The real achievement, imho, lies not in the game mechanics as such, but in the finetuning that has given us a board game that is exciting, challenging, and decently balanced while still reflecting the very different powers of World War II.
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Lozmoid
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2012, 12:30:59 am »
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I would call it 'Axes & Alles' or 'Access & Alice' or something...  wink

Game spaces would be 'water areas/land areas'.

Anything else?
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Hobbes
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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2012, 05:54:41 am »
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I would think there is restrictions on intellectual property such as game mechanics, I know we are only talking about copyright laws, but you guys are making it sound like I could recreate Axis and Aillies as long as I rename it and give it a whole different look and feel.

Look at the game RISK - you have territories, armies, combat/non-combat/reinforcement phases. Or look at Fortress America where you have units called Bombers, Infantry, etc. Or any other game where you buy your units, make your moves, collect income (or cards or whatever) and place your units.

The sequence and the name of the steps may change but those are details. The basic concept is that you have a game, where the board is divided into territories/zones, and players make their individual moves using units in a sequence. This idea/mechanic doesn't belong to WOTC or any other corporation - it can't be patented or registered, it would be impossible to implement and control it.

WOTC or other corporations develop a game they are merely using ideas/concepts that are universal and putting them to practice with their own twist (images, text, artwork, trademarks, etc.) but they don't own the basic logic, just the practical application (board games, artwork, site elements, etc.)

So yes, you can make and publish and sell your own board game that completely reproduces the A&A game mechanic as long as you don't use any elements that are unique to Axis and Allies or WOTC. You can make it with aliens, zombies, world war 1 or even world war 2, whatever.

So why doesn't this happen more often?

Well what happens is most companies (except most of China nowadays) will prefer to make their own practical application (which then has copyright and trademark) rather than just making a generic copy because they want their products to be recognized by costumers as unique (for advertising and marketing). Companies have usually no interest because they prefer to get out their own product, unless it's a major public hype about the product and there's lots of money to be made. 
What happens in China is that the copyright/trademark law is mainly ignored by everyone, including the government, and so you have companies making copies of products but just copying the process (and violating copyright/patent law) instead of coming up with their own (cheaper - no money spend on royalties or research/development), and giving the copies similar names to trademarked ones (Sanyo instead of Sony, etc.) to help to sell.

There's already an example of someone cloning A&A for years and selling it as an expansion to the original game - World at War from Xenogames.

This is similar to what happens when companies make clones of products, like a PC/Mac clones - the copyright/trademark is owned by the developer, so if anyone wants to use any part of the product it has to pay them (on this case, either the whole application or part of the code). But if a smart programmer reverse-engineers the code, figures out how it is done and comes up with a new different (and usually better) way of putting it into practice, then it's legal. That way copyright works both ways - it protects the creator's work while at the same time allows for further innovation and competition.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 06:11:46 am by Hobbes » Logged
Hobbes
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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2012, 06:15:17 am »
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I would call it 'Axes & Alles' or 'Access & Alice' or something...  wink

Game spaces would be 'water areas/land areas'.

Anything else?


Just adopt the names/terminogy used by TripleA - IIRC the developers contacted WOTC to figure out how to solve the 'cease and desist' letter and they made sure that they were not using anything specific to WOTC. And terms like territory and sea zone are generic - WOTC didn't create them when they started using them on TripleA.
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Young Grasshopper
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2012, 11:34:43 am »
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So there is no intellectual property patent for the Axis and Allies franchise? I find that hard to believe.
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DFWSupertrooper
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« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2012, 12:04:33 pm »
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So there is no intellectual property patent for the Axis and Allies franchise? I find that hard to believe.

There is...it just doesn't cover stuff they didn't "invent," and/or stuff that can be determined to be commonly available, widely used, or stuff that existed prior to them inhabiting the Earth. Smiley 

Terms such as Air Force and Infantry and Sea Zone and dice are completely unprotected because WOTC doesn't own them.  The term IPC or Industrial Production Certificate they DID invent.

That's my take on it anyway.  I'm no attorney but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! grin
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Young Grasshopper
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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2012, 12:54:36 pm »
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That's gold Gerry, gold!
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Hobbes
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« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2012, 03:05:15 pm »
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So there is no intellectual property patent for the Axis and Allies franchise? I find that hard to believe.

Patents are issued for 20 years under US law, the first edition of Axis & Allies was released on 1981. If it existed (remember that to apply for a patent you need to prove the novelty of your invention), it expired more than a decade ago. Any patent afterwards would have to be issued for a novel game system, something that clearly does not apply since the game system remains the same from Classic to Global, regardless of having NOs, new units, etc. The only games that might apply would be Guadalcanal, Bulge or D-Day, but I don't think there's much novelty between their systems and other games outside A&A.

You're welcome to go through the US Patent Office (http://patft.uspto.gov/) and find any patents given to Hasbro for the Axis & Allies games. I couldn't find any. The trademark for the Axis & Allies brand can be found though, dated February 11, 1985 (the first trademark must have been for Axis and Allies)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 03:11:53 pm by Hobbes » Logged
Veqryn
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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2012, 10:43:53 pm »
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Ahem.

I don't have time to go and quote the relevant sections of the patent and trademark and copyright laws right now, but I'll put it to everyone straight.


1. You may not copyright/trademark/patent a "game", or a "way of playing a game".  This means that the "rules" we all use to play A&A (stuff like movement, what the dice do, casualty selection, everything, etc etc) can not be protected in any way.

2. You may not copyright/trademark/patent generic terms.

3. You may copyright/trademark the artistic elements, and the full name of the game.  This means that the art, the look and feel, the design of the logo, and the full name, are all protected.


Simply put, so long as TripleA does not claim to be "A&A", does not use the full name of "A&A", and does not directly copy and paste the art of A&A, then there is nothing TripleA is doing that is infringing on Hasbro's A&A. 

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Lozmoid
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« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2012, 01:33:48 am »
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Quote
Simply put, so long as TripleA does not claim to be "A&A", does not use the full name of "A&A", and does not directly copy and paste the art of A&A, then there is nothing TripleA is doing that is infringing on Hasbro's A&A. 

I like the sound of that!  smiley

Veqryn, what are your grand dreams/desires (if any) for TripleA? Do you envision maybe eventually selling it to a big video games publisher like Activision or SEGA or something like that? I mean, you could do it couldn't you? And then maybe they could approach Hasbro/WOTC for the full-on licence/rights to call it Axis & Allies (supposing they do indeed hold patents etc). Would that be cool?
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Cow
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« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2012, 01:53:32 am »
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lol wut? maybe sell it to hasbro, because their website/flash revised game totally sucks.
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Hobbes
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« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2012, 02:26:28 am »
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Quote
Simply put, so long as TripleA does not claim to be "A&A", does not use the full name of "A&A", and does not directly copy and paste the art of A&A, then there is nothing TripleA is doing that is infringing on Hasbro's A&A. 

I like the sound of that!  smiley

Veqryn, what are your grand dreams/desires (if any) for TripleA? Do you envision maybe eventually selling it to a big video games publisher like Activision or SEGA or something like that? I mean, you could do it couldn't you? And then maybe they could approach Hasbro/WOTC for the full-on licence/rights to call it Axis & Allies (supposing they do indeed hold patents etc). Would that be cool?

This is exactly what I was saying but it's better to heard from a developer itself, thanks Veqryn
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