Any new A&A?



  • Does anyone know if there is any new A&A games coming out any time soon?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    As far as I’m aware, the current answer is that nobody who’s in any position to speak authoritatively on the subject (Larry Harris or Krieghund would be at the top of the list) has publicly mentioned any new A&A games being planned.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that no games are in the works; all it means at this point is “insufficient data” because new A&A games rarely (if ever) get announced while they’re still at the development stage.  I think that, for legal or contractual reasons related to the owners of the A&A brand (Hasbro and WotC), Larry is not permitted to disclose whether or not he’s working on any particular new A&A games – which is probably why he tends not to respond to questions on this subject in the forum section of his website (http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB3/index.php).  In the past, the first we’ve usually heard about new A&A games is from WotC press releases issued in anticipation of their release, meaning that the game is already close to being finalized when it become public knowledge.  D Jensen has sometimes managed to beat the WotC press release by a few days, so the present forum is as good a place as any – and better than most – to get the word about any new games that are forthcoming.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    I’m going to start a rumor based purely on observation, no insider knowledge whatsoever.

    I think Wizards might be done with Axis & Allies. If you see what happened with A&A Minis, it seems like the boardgames are going that route as well. Even a couple of years ago at GenCon, it seemed like Larry was looking for other projects, e.g. Conquest of the Empire, which never materialized due to IP issues.

    The demographic for A&A is aging. Younger players want to play other, shorter strategy games.

    The BIG miss in this whole situation is mobile gaming. As we all know from TripleA, A&A plays very well as a turn based game on a PC. Who here wouldn’t pay $6-$10 to play on their tablet or phone?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well my impression is they told Larry something like " i think were done and good luck on your future success"

    I felt this because of that last year when they released like 4 games in a year. It seemed like a clearing out of all AA projects just to be done with it.

    I believe more games are possible but they would need to be NOT WORLD WAR TWO. Im not sure Larry feels strongly about deviating from that period ( WW1 was probably out of the comfort zone).

    Also, i get the impression WOTC is not doing too well. Most of their other crappy fantasy games are on their way out and Avalon Hill product line has always been mismanaged.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    One subject I’ve sometimes wondered about is to what extent – if any – Larry’s company Harris Game Design has ownership rights over the A&A boardgame line.  I think that Larry has designed every A&A boardgame ever published…but all of those games have been published by firms other than his own company.  So I’m not sure who ultimately controls the A&A franchise.  My guess is that it’s owned by Hasbro, which over the years has purchased Milton Bradley (who published the first plastic-sculpt version of the A&A game) and Avalon Hill (the division label to which Hasbro transfered A&A) and Wizards of the Coast (the company to which Hasbro moved Avalon Hill by making it a subsidiary of WotC).

    The fact that the A&A franchise has moved from firm to firm several times over its history – starting ith the original publisher, Nova Game Designs, which apparently hasn’t published anything since 1995 and is probably out of business by now – is in a sense good news because it suggests that the franchise’s future doesn’t depend entirely on WotC’s level of interest (or lack thereof) in A&A or on WotC’s current success (or lack thereof) as a company.  The concerns raised by djensen and I.L. both pertained to WotC, but I imagine that regardless of WotC’s plans or prospects the A&A brand are still fundamentally a Hasbro property which Hasbro could keep with WotC, or potentially transfer to another internal division as an active brand, or keep on its books in an inactive state for potential future reactivation, or sell outright to another company, depending on what Hasbro figures would be the best option.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    This is true. They could also sell it off to somebody like Fantasy Flight (or who ever owns FF now) like they did with Fortress America and Nexus Ops.

    That could open up some innovation like a finite turn based version of the game. What if you could play and finish A&A in 3 hours?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    One problem is the cost of either the franchise name or the already developed pieces. Some company’s would like to develop their own pieces, while WOTC already did that and the games are merely “plug” in these pieces on a different map. Given that they probably shelved any new games, the sales must have been really bad. I think the year they released like 4 different products should have been staggered over 2-3 years because it created AA overload and people got tired of buying another AA game every 3 months. I think this killed sales with having to pick which ONE game to get.

    Thinking 1941 was the worst in sales, with 2nd editions of 1940 following ( because most people in the know were following the rule changes and just copying off the new ideas). 1914 seems to have faired better because it was a new war and had alot of new ideas.

    Since that time Larry has worked on new version of COTE and that’s still not done or is it?


  • Sponsor 2017 '13 '11 '10

    We would love to own the Axis and Allies name but I am sure the price is too high!


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @coachofmany:

    We would love to own the Axis and Allies name but I am sure the price is too high!

    Agreed – but even if the brand were somehow to become available at a “fire sale” bargain price, that would only be half the battle.  You’d also have to put some serious money into the process of developing and manufacturing new games, which isn’t cheap when you’re talking about professional-quality print runs in the tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of games, which I imagine is the scale on which large companies like Hasbro operate.  Traditionally, companies put in all this money up front, by themselves – which means that they need to have enough capital to not only design and manufacture the game but also to survive financially until the product finally reaches the market, which is the point at which they start to regain the money they invested and, if all goes well, finally turn a profit.  So all of this requires fairly deep pockets.  Newer business models based on pre-sales and crowdsourcing offer a cart-before-the-horse alternative to this traditional way of developing a product, and can sometimes allow a small company to punch above its weight and achieve things that would normally be unattainable, but they also have limitations.  I suspect that one of those limitations is that crowdsourcing may have trouble achieving a number of orders so large that they allow economies of scale to kick in: a small company which approaches a plastics factory with a request to manufacture, let’s say, ten thousand sculpts is simply not going to be quoted the same per-unit price as a large company which puts in a request for, let’s say, ten million sculpts.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @djensen:

    This is true. They could also sell it off to somebody like Fantasy Flight (or who ever owns FF now) like they did with Fortress America and Nexus Ops.

    In November 2014, FFG was acquired by (or “merged with”, depending on how you interpret the deal) France’s Asmodee Group, which also picked up Days of Wonder (makers of of the Memoir 44 product line) in August of the same year (see: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/33352/asmodee-buys-days-wonder).  This press release…

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidewalt/2014/11/17/fantasy-flight-games-merging-with-asmodee/

    …says that “By acquiring mid-sized publishers like Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight, the company is positioning itself to compete better against multinational toy giants like Hasbro and Mattel, who publish top board game brands including Monopoly and Scrabble.”  So my guess is that Mattel has no plans to sell A&A to a growing international gaming conglomerate which aspires to compete with Mattel itself.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Official Answers TripleA Moderator

    So what is the story behind this information given by GTO

    http://gametableonline.com/index.html
    http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c4207ae52b06b95121e064a82&id=f302d7c6e0

    Any ideas concerning “the next global wargame”?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Interesting.  It sounds as if Larry is designing a non-A&A “global war game” (the time period isn’t specified) that will be available both as a physical board game and as an online game (the latter of which will be hosted by GTO) and which is being planned for release sometime in 2015.  GTO says that the GTO site is migrating to a new platform, and will be closed during this migration period.

    GTO doesn’t characterize the new game as an actual A&A game, even though there are multiple references to A&A in its announcements.  This earlier one from late 2014…

    http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=c4207ae52b06b95121e064a82&id=a91b14dbeb

    …suggests that WotC wasn’t going to renew GTO’s A&A license (which was set to expire at the end of last year), so this is additional evidence implying that Larry’s new game won’t be an actual A&A product.

    Thanks for this interesting bit of news P@nther!


  • 2019 2015 '14

    Its too bad that the development of these games is all cloak and dagger behind closed doors type stuff. I mean, what about some teasers and time for community participation to build up the hype machine?
    😄

    These things always get rolled out in the same way, someone WotC PR person parachutes in after the thing has already been completed and printed in China, without sufficient fan fare or time to marinate.

    I still pine for a flagship World War 2 board, but things seem to trend towards decentralization.

    I’d like a single A&A system that can be expanded incrementally over time, with a digital tie in.
    Still waiting for the “Black” box, where all my A&A dreams are realized in one core set. Then augmented endlessly with “expansion sets” hehe

    Take my money! Please! And don’t give up on the thing yet.

    I mean for real, can’t we fly someone to China to find the dude who can make the production happen. Some factory wizard ali baba, who can land us the primo painted sculpts, with all the badass details and decals, and the magnets, and the shiny box, and the razor sharp dice. AA50 was glorious. The beauty was worth the extra loot.

    I’d like to see something like that, major, with the digital tie in. Something stand alone.
    Not like a GTO contracted-out framework, but something maintained in-house and specific to the franchise. Basically the board-game and the video game together, in one deal.

    I’m a fan of WW2.  And underwhelmed by “A&A” games that try to tackle timelines outside of the World War period. Keep it pure!

    The same kind of Axis and Allies we’ve always liked, just decked out to the nines, with the foxy black dress on! all the bells and all the whistles. Why flirt with another franchise, when the dice are so hot right here at home? Alas


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @Black_Elk:

    I’d like a single A&A system that can be expanded incrementally over time …

    Other games manage to do this - like Catan - and it seems like a real money-spinner to me. Before you know it you’ve bought multiple expansions and spent far more money than you ever intended to.

    Having said that, I have spent far more money on A&A than I ever intended to also. But with Catan each purchase was evolutionary rather than revolutionary. With A&A I have to decide whether to learn a whole new new variant at considerable cost. You have to love the game to make the next purchase decision.


  • Customizer

    I have advocated Fantasy Flight’s purchasing of the Axis & Allies franchise for a very long time. Thier sculpts and production are top of the line.



  • Just to add a bit to this discussion…

    I played in some A&A events at GenCon this year.  This year, and past years, there was a raffle of items from WotC in support of this game.  However, the guy who has run it for this year and many in the past stated that WotC is no longer supporting A&A and as such there won’t be giveaways in future years.

    So that tells me that what you all are suspecting is likely true - A&A is shelved for the foreseeable future.  And with the exception of the fact that I won’t be able to rake in raffle winnings at Gen Con in future years, I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.  I think they’ve made some serious improvements in the game with the most recent editions, there are plenty of variations and ways to play with pretty solid balance and playtest, and to me that means that not much more really needs to be done.


  • 2016

    The problem is that, eventually, games become stale without updates. You may love a product, and house rules can extend its lifetime, but eventually, most people tire of the experience, even if it was originally a lot of fun.

    Joining a community centered around a dying game also involves a leap of faith by newcomers. You not only invest in a group of people that could soon disappear, but buy a product that may not have a future for the same reasons.

    I do think that companies like HBG and FMG can be a powerful force that give the equivalent of temporary life support to these kinds of games, but even they are dependent upon replacement of the player base to ensure continued sales. Even if they expand beyond A&A, they will face the same problem as WoTC: investing new dollars in old games isn’t as lucrative as investing them in better-selling properties.

    Consider that the current public fascination with board games will one day end, and that, even now, A&A doesn’t benefit as much as shorter games like Settlers of Catan.

    One good option for A&A might be to move to a print-and-pay model. FMG has used this successfully to improve sales of its Game of Thrones board game. I suspect that HBG is also using this to figure out which potential products are going to generate good sales. Basically, customers pay for figures or materials that are either hosted digitally and released upon receipt of payment, or else manufactured and shipping directly to a home address. This cuts out the middle man, but it ensures that companies are not producing product that sits on the shelves. I think this is a good approach to expanding the basic game.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    Hmm, looks like WOFTC just revamped Avalon’s website.  Maybe heralding something to come?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Karl7:

    Hmm, looks like WOFTC just revamped Avalon’s website.  Maybe heralding something to come?

    Maybe not.  Larry’s website…

    http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB3/index.php

    …has a section called…

    Avalon Hill’s Historic Time Capsule
    Apparently The Axis & Allies site over at Avalon Hill is going to be phased out soon. A new one will replace it. If you have something over there that you don’t want to be evaporated into thin air then cut and paste it, and bring it over here so that it is not lost forever.

    …and based on the age of the posts it seems to have been around for several years.

    On a possibly related note, I’ve looked at the GTO website and it still seems to be on hiatus.  On the GTO forum, some people are complaining that GTO’s promise of a revamped site (perhaps built around a new game by Larry) by the end of 2015 hasn’t yet materialized.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    I’d better get the new forum up and running.  😉


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