Can I say it for all of us: why not have used this excellent opportunity to give France its own sculpts?
Am so happy for Italy’s of course.
Because they will probably save this ‘opportunity’ as a selling point for future games…
Imagine the draw of having unique French sculpts appearing in a Mediterranean theater-scale game!
You’ll buy it. I’ll buy it. Wizards (wisely) isn’t putting all of its available eggs in the Global '40 basket.
You are absolutely correct. I’ve bought every edition of Axis and Allies, regardless of any flaws or setup issues. I know Larry has mentioned before he won’t be doing an African theater map, but maybe he will if Wizards is holding out on new French sculpts (correct me if I’m wrong about any major battles in NA involving the French).
I was thinking of a map with the Med in the centre, bordered by Southern Europe (top), the Middle East (right), North Africa (bottom), and Gibraltar (left), the gateway to the Atlantic.
With a 1940 start date, and considerably zoomed in terms of scale and unit count, France would still be a major force to be reckoned with in that theatre, on the ground, in the sea, and in the air.
Such a game would justify the creation of new French sculpts and almost certainly need rules to cover the split between Vichy France and Free French forces; I could see French units being produced in an additional color to represent this (yellow?). The main battle for France could take place offstage to the North, with Vichy rules coming into play on Turn 2 or some such. The UK and Free French would represent the only Allied elements present.
Italy could finally have a game wherein it plays the most dangerous Axis antagonist, with Vichy France in a minor support role… Germany could be entirely absent from the game (the Afrikakorps and other ‘donated’ German elements were nominally under Italian command, and so could be represented by additional Italian reinforcements coming in from the North).
…Or, if this seems to unlikely to you, imagine a “Battle for Paris” A&A game where the French and British need to hold out against a German assault for a set number of turns (which exceeds their historical performance) to win. That might also be playable, and would require a more representative set of French sculpts as a sale point.
And who knows…perhaps in a later edition they’ll even have designated units for the Dutch and the Canadians, who as a starting point already have their own roundels printed on the game map.
I hope you’re right, Marc! You can always house rule them in, but it’s preferable if the franchise recognizes fan interest and produces the materials (sculpts & playtested set-ups) to support their inclusion.
I think that some sort of ‘South Pacific’ battle game could justify the production of Dutch units (even if we only got an infantry sculpt for them, that would suffice IMO), and a ‘Battle of the Atlantic’ game do the same for the Canadians (again, even if only the infantry sculpt were unique and the rest were UK units in a different colour, I’d probably be satisfied with that).
What we’re all looking for, I believe, is greater war-gaming detail in a war game that was designed to be light in complexity compared its uglier-looking and clunkier hex-based cousins. But because we prefer looking at miniatures instead of endless cardboard chits, adding complexity means adding more and prettier plastic pieces… which Wizards has a virtual monopoly on (canonical and iconic sculpts, at least). So, until we reach a threshold in terms of the kinds of units and the number of nations we would like to see them included in, we are in the pocket of that company, who will presumably keep slow-rolling out new sculpts in new games (until that practice becomes unprofitable, obv).
This is an arrangement I’m more or less happy to support – I’ll end up buying Global 40, for example, mostly for the new sculpts, which can be used for house rules in other versions of the game – though at the end of the day I wish Wizards was more active in its marketing of the brand, and in developing a relationship with its customers. One has only to look at its threadbare and never-updated website for Avalon Hill to see the kind of indifference it has towards us as a market group…