What qualities make a great A&A player?



  • Re-introducing a topic that was in the ‘general discussion’ forum under a more specific title.


    [Not sure if these are in order of importance of not, we can argue that after we create a list]
    Also assuming a 1-on-1 game.  Team dynamics are a whole other discussion.

    1).  Experience

    Knows the game and the ‘better’ strategies and more important territories as well some of the nuances of the game (like sub / DD interaction / vulnerabilities as well as how to coordinate moves with your allies countries)

    2).  Vision / Ability to see 2-3 rounds down the road in a game.

    If you can not see what your opponent is trying to do to you or have a strategy for your side (at least a general one), it’s hard to win.  Knowing HOW to win is not hard (your objectives), you can glean that from the rules, knowing HOW to achieve those are much more vital

    3).  Understanding / mitigating the risks

    Take good odds battles, unless you are falling behind, you might starting increasing your risks in order to increase your chances of winning.

    4).  Determining who is winning / losing (very tightly related to 3)

    If you think you are winning when you are in fact losing, your moves may be counter productive.  An example helps to explain my point.  If I think I am winning, I may have no sense of urgency to force my opponent to counter my move(s), or properly increase my risk exposure.

    5).  Being able to realize AND take advantage of an opportunity

    Many times in games, a battle may go awry for/against you (dice will do that!).  Sometimes it can be so bad that no level of contingency plan you have created can save you EXCEPT for your opponent’s failure to realize and exploit this weakness.  Good players recognize these situations.

    6).  Realizing any unit is disposable to meet your objective(s)

    Often times, a player is hung up on the COST of some units that are risked/lost.  “Oh, I took France but it cost me 3 bombers to do it!”
    Well that just might be the best move for the situation, ESPECIALLY if you can afford it or needed that battle to get back into the game (see #3 about mitigating the risks)


    Please feel free to add to my quick list.  I am sure there are many more.



  • Having your pcs positioned for flexibility for secondary opportunities and
    the will to take a moderate risks that the opposing player may not see as rationale at first.

    positioning pcs to feint an attack to force the opponents pieces to move away from the real target.



  • The one and ONLY quality that makes a GREAT axis and allies player is ….

    One who has fun playing, win or lose.



  • @Rorschach:

    The one and ONLY quality that makes a GREAT axis and allies player is ….

    One who has fun playing, win or lose.

    Well said. Though I disagree with the only part.

    I might add, ingenuity. Even if the move isn’t the best, if the opponent has never seen it before, he might not know how to counter.

    Also what are pcs?



  • @Wilson2:

    @Rorschach:

    The one and ONLY quality that makes a GREAT axis and allies player is ….

    One who has fun playing, win or lose.

    Well said. Though I disagree with the only part.

    I might add, ingenuity. Even if the move isn’t the best, if the opponent has never seen it before, he might not know how to counter.

    Also what are pcs?

    Yes, only may be a bit overdramatic, but the point is still valid.  🙂

    I think pcs = pieces/units



  • Echoing Jeff’s point, flexibility is crucial. Most of my experience is with Revised and starting on Spring 42. German fighters and bombers on WE greatly limits the Allies’ options. The US and UK must be together at the end of each round or must build double protection. Fighters(and TANKS depending on Axis gameplan) on WE serves another purpose of pushing more infantry East. Japan’s fighter placement is also key. Early on, they should be in range to help defend important German territories if the need arises such as in Ukraine or Egypt. Japanese fighters to Europe will not only defend but can also disrupt the Allies 1-2 attack on a territory or can disrupt fleet movements.


  • '10

    7) An understanding of the Historical situation presented in the games, Each Nations War Aims and particular challenges.
    I find this to be more true of the newest versions re AA50/AAP40/AAE40


  • 2016 2015 '10

    Good list Axis Roll.  I would emphasize #1 Experience as the most important factor.  Experience is critical especially in the late game where having made mistakes before helps you avoid making the same ones again.  Experience helps to determine which risks are good risks.

    Your #2 (foresight and preparation) is also critical.

    Some other factors that come to mind
    -solid understanding of unit dynamics (what they can do and how)
    -good grasp of math and risk calculation.
    -efficient buying strategies



  • 1: Looks) The ladies love these guys.

    2: Package) These guys are VERY well hung.

    3: Power) All men look to them for leadership.

    4: Brains) They’re pretty much geniuses.

    5: Money) It means nothing to them - they’re above it.

    Did I mention chicks really dig these guys?



  • #1. Being able to flip the board
    #2. Being able to throw a dice at your enemies capital
    #3. Being able to nuke your opponent

    Nahh just kidding

    #1. Memorizing the setups and beginning IPC values
    #2. Poker Face
    #3. Know when to play defensive.
    #4. If a place is worth no money, but could really help (Wake, Midway, Gibaltar, etc) take it!
    #5. Knowing best IC placings
    #6. Always get one of your ally’s (or your parents) to pick-up the little creaser’s or taco bell.

    Those are top 6 for me (no order)


  • '10

    @FieldMarshalGames:

    7) An understanding of the Historical situation presented in the games, Each Nations War Aims and particular challenges.
    I find this to be more true of the newest versions re AA50/AAP40/AAE40

    This also means you can play ANY nation well, rather then be good at one and poor at another.



  • @FieldMarshalGames:

    7) An understanding of the Historical situation presented in the games, Each Nations War Aims and particular challenges.
    I find this to be more true of the newest versions re AA50/AAP40/AAE40

    Moreso if you play with NO’s.  Without NO’s, objectives are not additionally driven by the IPCs



    1. Patience :  Yes, you are going to be stuck 10 hours + playing.
    2. Stay Healthy: A good player can drink beer, soda, eat junk food during 10 hours+ without developping fat tissues or pimples. The best of the players won’t even have a stale breath or oily skin when done rolling over you.
    3. Sacrifice : Yes, its 10 hours + that you won’t be spending trying to get/with a chick or having quality time with your wife and kid.
    4. Lucky : Because dices are dices. The more luck you have, the faster you finish the game.
    5. Annoying: The more you get under the skin of your opponent, the more he fails.


  • @Corbeau:

    1. Patience :  Yes, you are going to be stuck 10 hours + playing.
    2. Stay Healthy: A good player can drink beer, soda, eat junk food during 10 hours+ without developping fat tissues or pimples. The best of the players won’t even have a stale breath or oily skin when done rolling over you.
    3. Sacrifice : Yes, its 10 hours + that you won’t be spending trying to get/with a chick or having quality time with your wife and kid.
    4. Lucky : Because dices are dices. The more luck you have, the faster you finish the game.
    5. Annoying: The more you get under the skin of your opponent, the more he fails.

    Okay #5, like throw dice at him, or?



  • @i:

    no tlk him to death makes you oppent forget to do stuff.

    Oh talking to them yeah I do that, and of obliviously throw the dice at them.



  • Somehow that doesn’t fit my definition of a “great” A&A player. :roll:  Diversion and subterfuge (such as trying to distract them so they don’t think too much about what you’re doing) are strategic tools to be used, but childish tricks are dishonorable. :x 8-)



  • @SAS:

    Somehow that doesn’t fit my definition of a “great” A&A player. :roll:  Diversion and subterfuge (such as trying to distract them so they don’t think too much about what you’re doing) are strategic tools to be used, but childish tricks are dishonorable. :x 8-)

    I’m sure Stalin threw dice at Hitler  😄



  • Independent: Can make competent decisions when you aren’t there to help them.

    Honesty: Won’t cheat by re-rolling dice or adding/removing pieces on the board when no one is looking.

    Commitment: Will play a game to the bitter end and not just surrender when the going gets tough.

    Sensitive: Will react accordingly when I get 3 out of six AA gun hits or win a battle against two defending infantry with a single man.

    Supportive: Will support decisions made by ally and roll dice when needed.

    Obedient: Will do what you say when you say it ie. will send British fighters to moscow when it is completely surrounded and only a few units more are needed to tip the balance in the allied favor and the only german reinforcements are two turns away and a victory will result in the complete collapse of the german eastern front.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Hmmmmm……  That was a great start, Axis_roll…

    You already listed one of the qualities of a great A&A player I think a lot of players miss - the ability to not get hung up on the replacement cost of units.

    Tactical/Strategic expertise - As in chess, “material” is not always everything.  Many players get hung up on who has a higher IPC value of units on the board, and who has a higher income.  I’ve won a lot of A&A games where I had an inferior income and/or inferior total units.  I’ve won a lot of chess games where I had less material than my adversary, because position is more important than pieces, in many cases.

    Ability to keep emotions in check  The dice don’t know that you just got hammered, or that you just got really lucky.  Good luck leads to overconfidence and bad luck leads to too much pessimism in a player who can’t keep emotions in check

    Awareness of pyschological warfare  It can help to make your position look more menacing or less menacing than it actually is.  You want less menacing when it’s a trap.  More menacing when you don’t want your opponent to attack.  Strategic use or non-use of chips, etc. is key.
    Also, the talk.  You can psyche out your opponent, or make him overconfident, etc. by what you say.

    Ability to plan I know this has been touched on, but it’s different than just being able to see 2-3 turns ahead.  It’s the ability to devise plans 2-3 turns (or more) ahead that will actually be effective and contribute to a W.

    (I’ve played a lot of Classic, Revised, and about 50 games of AA50 - mostly 1942 scenario)


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Efficiency, and Shucking Efficiency  To be great, you have to be very efficient with your units.  A great player will have just enough to get the job done in the most important areas of the struggle.  Just enough to make the opponent’s attack risky, or just enough to keep the opponent from wanting to attack at all, for example.  It’s a waste to have more than you need, and waste leads to losing!  🙂

    Shucking efficiency - Having just enough to deter opponent’s attack on transports, or just enough that it would be too risky for your opponent to attack your fleet.  Besides this, building just the right number of transports and ground units at just the right times to maximize transporting efficiency, enabling the maximum number of ground units to enter the battle at the most critical times.

    Restraint  Just because you can make an attack, and just because you will probably lose less than your opponent, doesn’t mean you should do it.  Often it’s better to be patient and build up more forces, and attack at a more opportune time in the future.  Most novices attack whenever and whatever they can, especially when a high IPC income is under the territory.  Just because you can take an empty France with an infantry in round 1 doesn’t mean you should.  If you’re sacrificing a transport, that’s 2 less ground units you can threaten with next turn.  Just because 6 + 5 IPC’s for France are yours, you gave up 7 + 3 IPC’s to do it (-1 for 1/3 chance at destroying 3 IPC’s on counter-attack) and those 11 IPC’s won’t be available until turn 2, and the units it buys won’t be available for attacking until turn 3.  Which is related to…

    Understanding “positional value” and “relative value” Positional value - German infantry out on the Eastern front is worth more than 3 IPC’s each.  3 IPC’s allows you to buy an infantry next turn, which will be placed in Germany.  As Zhukov said, players get hung up on replacement value.  Well the value of a unit that is out in a good position is much higher than it’s original cost.  (So you shouldn’t necessarily sacrifice an infantry to take a 2 IPC territory that the opponent will immediately take back in force, unless of course it is to deny the capability to land planes next turn)
    Relative value - If your side’s forces are greater than your opponent and/or you are able to outproduce your opponent, than your infantry is not as valuable as his.  Many times it’s a good strategy to trade units at a less than 1:1 ratio with your enemy - when you will outnumber or outproduce him over time. (and there are other cases as well)  Oh - yes - like when the positional value of his units is high.  For example - it can be a good move for Russia to trade 3 Russian infantry for 2 German infantry in Ukraine, because of the high positional value of the Germans and low positional value of the Russians.  (Or, that can be a bad move - all depending on the overall position and incomes and material of both sides, of course)

    Well, don’t want to share ALL my techniques……  🙂
    Looking forward to seeing more qualities of a great A&A player from you all.



  • Good at maneuvering/positioning pieces.
    I’ve mainly played Pacific 1940, where this skill is the most important, especially in the naval war. Specifically, a good A&A player will know where to position blockers and main fleets to the optimal advantage. He will also move his units in a way that most efficiently achieves the objectives. This also included not being distracted by small ships that aren’t threatening, and the ability to tell when they are.


  • '12

    Gamerman, you make an excellent point about positional value of a piece.  The Unitied States trading infantry with Japan in Persia when Japan builds them in say French indo-china or worse India is a tougher sell when you think that Infantry’s journey entailed.  First the huge fleet investment to get him across the Atlantic, but lets start.  Build on US1, US2 to Gbr, US3 algeria if you are lucky, US4, US5, US6 finally in Trans-jordan.  Round 7, killed in a 1 for 1 trade with Japan.  Much better to use that infantry to attrit against germany, or at least newly built units, those advance units whose journey was long and arduous should be conserved and put into advanced positions for use in a more tactical situation or to generate additional options.  You ever notice how just 1-2 units combined with some airpower can open up all kinds of doors for your allies to exploit like taking over a frontline territory to be used as a landing base for maurading allied air-units?



  • @Dylan:

    @SAS:

    Somehow that doesn’t fit my definition of a “great” A&A player. :roll:  Diversion and subterfuge (such as trying to distract them so they don’t think too much about what you’re doing) are strategic tools to be used, but childish tricks are dishonorable. :x 8-)

    I’m sure Stalin threw dice at Hitler  😄

    nono, stalin taunted hitler with his bigger mustache ^^


  • '12

    I think we should qualify that question a bit.  A good player face-to-face with the distractions of real life or somebody who can ponder moves in a PBEM scenario.  Yesterday I played a game face-to-face so there were time constraints for moves.  My foe having a wife and kids has few opportunities to play and limited time so we attempt to rapid fire moves, laying out your builds while he is doing his turn.  This also introduces the element of bluff.  Lay out some subs and bombers then build infantry when he has finished his turn!  With time constraints we rarely use a simulator and tend to forget those lone subs off in the corners of the world especially since that beautiful map by IL is so HUGE!

    Of course my friend is far more cultured then I.  I appreciate his attemts to edify me on the topics of fine beers, wines and whiskeys/ryes.  Of coure since i am host and he must drive back to his town he is rather generous in his offerings while being rather moderate in his consumptions.  I have the further distraction of entertaining my girlfriend and ensuring she has movies to watch and music to listen to.  However, she likes to suntan and always seems to be wearing her bikini.  She used to be a stripper and still has the wiggle, I think its a bit more distracting to him.  I mean his wife is hot too butt……


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    I like eveything I have seen here.

    I would add, or emphasize, that an important specific quality is opportunism/risk taking. Getting that feeling, or just knowing through experience, that now is the best time to do something… or the ability to be patient and extend your options. More often than not, it is better to strike early than late. Rarely is a window open for more than a turn… afterwards it is closed up or had moved to a new position. Knowing when to act, and with what, is a very important management quality. This may involve taking risks… only in extreme circumstances should that risk jeporadize your own survival… but one needs to have the feel for what is a worthy risk at the time. This element can drastically unseat your opponent or gain you needed objectives more quickly… if exercized successfully.


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