NEWBIE - What AA to choose?


  • Hey AA community, thanks for letting me join the forums.

    I’ve wanted to play Axis and Allies for years, but I’ve never gotten to it. Now that I have the means -and the players- to do so, I am overwhelmed by the options.

    I have read that regional versions like Battle of the Bulge and DDay, while cool, are extremely limited and only an introduction to A&A, which is not what I’m looking for. Instead, I am looking at Axis and Allies 1941 and Axis and Allies 1942 (unfortunately, just the 1st edition). So, from a new player’s perspective, that wants to get the best (in terms of complexity and box contents) A&A experience possible, which one should I choose?

    If possible, please elaborate your answers.

    Thanks for your help, I hope I can start playing this game soon. Cheers.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Be a man and start with Europe 1940 second edition.  If you like it you can add pacific 1940se later on and put them together to play Global 1940 which is awesome.  You can also play global 1940 on the forums using a program called triplea


  • I’ve also considered that. The price is kinda steep, but it seems to be the bigger, more complex game.

    Is Europe 1940 less complex than the global, '42?

    Thanks.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Europe 1940 is more complex than 1942, but you’ll like it a lot better once you learn it.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Welcome to the discussion board and to the A&A hobby!

    Regarding your question, here are some thoughts:

    The three operational-level games – D-Day, Battle of the Bulge and Guadalcanal – are fundamentally different from the more conventional A&A games which encompass either the whole world or one of the two major theatres.  So the impression you would get of the game if you started with one of those would be rather misleading.

    A&A 1914 is also an oddity because it focuses on WWI rather than WWII and because of peculiarities like its multiplicity of dice.

    In terms of the WWII A&A games which are currently in print (which in general may have the benefit of being more affordable that out-of-print games, especially rarities like Anniversary), you have five options.  In increasing size and complexity they are:

    1941

    1942

    Pacific 1940

    Europe 1940

    Global 1940 (which is Europe 1940 combined with Pacific 1940)

    1941 is designed as a starter game for new players, so it’s the most accessible game from that point of view.  But you might also consider jumping straight to 1942: it’s a fuller gaming experience than 1941, but much less complex than Global 1940.  Pacific 1940 and Europe 1940 are playable on their own, but unlike 1942 they’re not global in scope.  So all in all, 1942 might be a good compromise choice.

  • Sponsor

    If you want to feel like that guy in those “Old Spice” commercials… than play A&A 1940 Global.


  • Recall the OP did say he was a newbie.  Everyone is at one point.

    Global may be overwhelming to such a player.

    CWO Marc’s post is good.

    One thing to consider is game playing time. 
    Experienced players (may?!) complete a global game in one sitting, but a group of newbie?

    I know my FTF group Anniversary games can go 7-12 hours, and we are 25+ year veterans of A&A.


  • I have done some more research and read your advice carefully.

    Games like Twilight Imperium, for instance, is the kind of complexity that isn’t daunting, but exciting in my mind. I expect the same for Axis and Allies. So with that said, I will go for the '42 2nd version if I can hunt one down and, if I end up liking it a lot (which I expect I’ll do), I’ll invest in Europe '40 and its asian theatre counterpart. Maybe this’ll let me have boards for my family AND for my friends who are more into board games. After all, it seems like a tradition in this community to own more than a single version of A&A, hehe.

    Cheers guys, thanks for the info.

  • Customizer

    I’d recommend 1942 second edition. It takes up less space. If you like that make sure you buy the Europe 1940 and Pacific 1940. If you can afford it buy all three.

    The series has a tendency to produce less of the big box games and once they go out of print the prices skyrocket. Maybe buy Europe 1940 and Axis & Allies 1942 second edition. Pacific 1940 will be easier and cheaper to buy later if Europe 1940 goes out of print. I recommend 1942 second edition because it is the “main game”.

    Just some advice.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    If it’s helpful, here’s what Larry Harris says about this topic in the rulebook for A&A 1942 2nd edition (located at http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/rules/A&A1942_2ndEd_rlbk_NonSku_PDF.pdf) :

    “When it comes to the Axis & Allies “family,” call up in your mind a family portrait. Standing over there on the left is Axis & Allies 1941. It is designed to be a quicker and less complicated experience. It also comes with a completely new line of iconic units including, but not limited to, Tiger tanks. On the other side, standing on the right, are the twins Axis & Allies Europe 1940 and Axis & Allies Pacific 1940. These two must be seen and played to be believed. They’re not for everybody, however. There’s a longer playing time and a few more rules to contend with, but what the heck . . . you deserve it! Standing front and center in the family portrait is this new Axis & Allies 1942 game. As Goldilocks would put it, this game is “not too hot and not too cold; it’s just right” (depending on your taste, of course).”

  • Customizer

    @CWO:

    If it’s helpful, here’s what Larry Harris says about this topic in the rulebook for A&A 1942 2nd edition (located at http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/rules/A&A1942_2ndEd_rlbk_NonSku_PDF.pdf) :

    “When it comes to the Axis & Allies “family,” call up in your mind a family portrait. Standing over there on the left is Axis & Allies 1941. It is designed to be a quicker and less complicated experience. It also comes with a completely new line of iconic units including, but not limited to, Tiger tanks. On the other side, standing on the right, are the twins Axis & Allies Europe 1940 and Axis & Allies Pacific 1940. These two must be seen and played to be believed. They’re not for everybody, however. There’s a longer playing time and a few more rules to contend with, but what the heck . . . you deserve it! Standing front and center in the family portrait is this new Axis & Allies 1942 game. As Goldilocks would put it, this game is “not too hot and not too cold; it’s just right” (depending on your taste, of course).”

    +1


  • Global is the best? Or something else?

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @elkikko:

    Global is the best? Or something else?

    Each A&A is best for something different.

    1941 is best for an evening game (as the others take longer) or as an introduction to new players, being easier to explain and get a game going (in my view at least).

    1942 is best for a day game (as 1940 takes longer) and some on this forum will highlight various benefits over 1940. Here is an example:

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=36052.msg1418663#msg1418663

    1940 is much loved by many, but can be difficult to play face to face given the time it takes.

    My own newbie path was via 1941 6 months ago to 1942 a few months later to a 1940 game now being played “by forum” (i.e. playing by computer against an opponent on this forum, with each player posting his turns in one of these boards). I am enjoying all the extra nuances and elements of 1940, but grateful that I did not start with it. This progression path appears fairly common among those who began with A&A since these variants all became available.

    What is “best” for you will depend on your A&A experience and personal preferences. If you are a newbie I would recommend the path I took.


  • I went strait for global and have not looked back. I am in the proses of building a group of guys up to play once a month all day event as I feel the game needs this amazing of time to be played well and all the way through. By far the best version in my opinion once you get through the rules and there is always something else to learn. Best game to just run full tilt into the game that we all love. And the map and set up is eye opening the first time you see it all set up.


  • Welcome CraneDeNicollo.  My friend got me started on Global 1940.  I have also started playing Global 1939 which is a very complicated game but plays like Global 1940 with slight rules variations.  Recently, my ten year old grand daughter took a real interest in the game and my friend suggested the 1942 second edition version.  It was simpler but still a real challenge.  I have one a game against my teacher in the Global 1940 so I felt some what confident as I entered the game but soon found myself scrambling to just survive as my grand daughter lead Germany in a global tear.  She says she wants to be President some day…God help her enemies if she makes it.  Now she plays the ANZACS and China in the Global 1940 game pretty much on her own.  Both games are great but her trouncing of her grandpa in the 1942 games have inspired her to learn more.  If you are wanting to gain experience and learn stratagies, I recommend 1942 to start with.

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