That is so helpful! Thank you for the analysis!
It was my pleasure. A chance to pull out my games and admire them? If I must… 😄
It’s too bad Avalon Hill didn’t print the new Anniversary Edition in the same colors as Europe '40 Second Edition. I really like the lighter shade of those Italian pieces because they’re easier to distinguish from Soviet red-brown.
To be fair to Hasbro/WotC/Avalon Hill, all they promised was a re-print. And to a large degree, that is what the New A&A Anniversary edition was: a straight up re-print of the original go at things. Were there differences between the two prints? Of course there were. Were all of those changes for the better? I don’t think so, no. I especially wish they had kept the US F6F Hellcat fighters but instead we got more P-38 Lightnings. But overall, it was probably as faithful as they could do and a long shot better than either 1) not doing it at all (what a pity that would have been) or 2) just phoning it in and wholesale dumping all of the right pieces from A&A 42 and A&A Europe 40.1 Italy.
Instead, we got the original Anniversary Edition Italian tank, the M14/41. We got the Italian brown Japanese Betty bombers and Type 92 Howitzers (artillery). And they put them into a shade about as close as to the shade of the original Anniversary Edition Italians as they were going to get from two print runs separated by 9 years. And that meant that we got a bunch of Italian brown German ships and fighters. But we got a re-print of a game I didn’t think was ever coming back.
And for that, I don’t mind dark brown Italians. Even if I would have rather gotten the F6Fs and the Maroon UK Country class cruisers, I’m happy with what we did get.