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Next Axis&Allies game?



  • Anyone have info if there will be any new Axis&Allies games? Seems like a long time since the last one came out



  • The developers show no want to continue the series. Larry Harris seems to want to make different kinds of games now. Some of us are still hoping that we will get soemthing new though……



  • I think they mismanaged their releases after anniversary edition including unforeseen 2nd editions for 1940, and 1942, along with a totally unnecessary 1941 release. All this has made the entire franchise feel saturated and unorganized. I’m beginning to doubt there will ever be another Axis and Allies game released under the current regime.



  • Thanks guys……I’m still hoping for something new in the foreseeable future…that being said I’m content with owning every Axis&Allies game and find Global 1940 and Anniversary Edition great fun and when time permits Global 1939 from HBG is an awesome game to play



  • It might be interesting to see an operational-level game (ala Guadalcanal, etc) of the Dardanelles/Gallipoli campaign from WWI



  • I’d be interested in an Eastern front game (Kursk) maybe a Stalingrad game ……maybe a North Africa/Italy game


  • Sponsor 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    Go to www.historicalboardgaming.com.  He has 1936 Global plus many others to choose from.


  • 2017 2016

    @Young:

    I think they mismanaged their releases after anniversary edition including a totally unnecessary 1941 release. All this has made the entire franchise feel saturated and unorganized.

    I know you’re a massive fan of the Global 1940 game with as big and as many rules/units as can be thrown at you… and that’s totally fine of course… I think you completely and totally missed the point of the 1941 game… its a super-light version of Axis and Allies at the lowest possible price point.  Its purpose, as Larry correctly pointed out, is to be an entry-level game to introduce NEW PEOPLE to the Axis and Allies franchise, that is neither too expensive, nor too complicated, and will not overwhelm someone new to the franchise as something like Global 1940 would completely do to someone new.  On a lesser note, but still important, even veterans of A&A can enjoy what is clearly the shortest playing-time version of the game with 1941.  Not everybody has 14-20 hours to commit to a single game of A&A.

    Personally… 1941 doesn’t have any pull to me… i’d much rather play 1942 or Global 1940… but once again, i’m not the target audience of 1941, and neither are you Young Grasshoper.  You know who the target audience of 1941 is?  It’s people like my children… and other people who have never played the game before… something like A&A 1941 is the best hope at bringing in NEW BLOOD to the Axis and Allies family, and ensuring future generations will still want to play this game.



  • @Wolfshanze:

    @Young:

    I think they mismanaged their releases after anniversary edition including a totally unnecessary 1941 release. All this has made the entire franchise feel saturated and unorganized.

    I know you’re a massive fan of the Global 1940 game with as big and as many rules/units as can be thrown at you… and that’s totally fine of course… I think you completely and totally missed the point of the 1941 game… its a super-light version of Axis and Allies at the lowest possible price point.  Its purpose, as Larry correctly pointed out, is to be an entry-level game to introduce NEW PEOPLE to the Axis and Allies franchise, that is neither too expensive, nor too complicated, and will not overwhelm someone new to the franchise as something like Global 1940 would completely do to someone new.  On a lesser note, but still important, even veterans of A&A can enjoy what is clearly the shortest playing-time version of the game with 1941.  Not everybody has 14-20 hours to commit to a single game of A&A.

    Personally… 1941 doesn’t have any pull to me… i’d much rather play 1942 or Global 1940… but once again, i’m not the target audience of 1941, and neither are you Young Grasshoper.  You know who the target audience of 1941 is?  It’s people like my children… and other people who have never played the game before… something like A&A 1941 is the best hope at bringing in NEW BLOOD to the Axis and Allies family, and ensuring future generations will still want to play this game.

    I understand about the concept of an “Axis & Allies Junior” type game for kids, but I think 1942 can do all those things you talked about… personally if I had kids and thought they might enjoy Axis & Allies 1942… I would introduce them to Chess first. Axis and Allies is a complex game and IMO they didn’t need to dumb it down with so many editions to confuse new buyers, I know new players who bought 1941 but thought they were getting 1942. Also, the reason I go to so much trouble making tutorial videos for G40 is that I was sick of people recommending 1941(which is a horrible A&A edition) to adults who just wanted to start playing Axis & Allies… again, it’s just my opinion… that’s all, I have faith in people’s intelligence to easily understand 1942 or 1940 for that matter, but I agree with you that 1941 is shorter.


  • 2017 2016

    I think 1941 is well placed in regard to the intent of Larry Harris, which was stated as having a two-fold purpose… an intro game for new players to A&A and/or a shorter game for veterans that can be finished much quicker than other versions.

    They trimmed a LOT of things out of 1941 vs what was in 1942, and I’m sure that’s what you don’t like about 1941… but at the same time, the things they trimmed out are things that make the game quicker to teach, less demanding during the game (the massive reduction in IPC gathering/spending) and make the game shorter… these are things that make the game easier to learn for first time A&A players that would not be the case in 1942 if you used that as an intro.

    Also, 1941 isn’t supposed to be an introduction to strategy gaming for kids… when you say “you want to teach your kids A&A introduce them to chess first…”, 1941 isn’t supposed to be an intro to strategy gaming, it’s supposed to be an intro to A&A gaming. A much better intro to strategy gaming is Risk, which is more A&A light than anything else (and a much closer cousin to A&A than Chess).

    I think the biggest problem with 1941 (and I agree with you on this)… is it’s packaging/marketing… without doing any previous research, or looking into the product line, I could totally see someone going to the store, seeing 1941 either by itself or next to 1942 and thinking its really no different, just starts in a different year, and is like any other version of A&A… I agree with you there, it really should be painfully clear on the box that it’s some sort of “introductory” version or a “bare-bones, A&A-light”. It shouldn’t look identical to 1942 aside from the year on the box. I think veteran A&A players, or adults with a decent grasp on strategy gaming should be directed to 1942 or 1940.

    I don’t expect someone with a basement decked out with not one, but two massive tables dedicated to Global 1940 with (very awesome, might I add) custom table work, massive rows of extra units, bins, dice, etc, to have even one iota of care about 1941… it’s CLEARLY not for you. Heck, 1941 is not for me… personally, I HATE THE GAME! Despite my personal feelings for 1941, I realize it has a purpose, and I agree with Larry Harris that it does fill that gap between something like Risk and something like the larger/longer-playing games of 1942 and 1940. Mismarketed with packaging that makes it look no different from 1942 with a different year on the box? Oh sure, i’ll give you that. It just needs to be better defined so it doesn’t fool people that should be playing 1942 or 1940 into buying 1941 by mistake. I don’t like the game Candyland either, but I realize it has a target market and is properly marketed.

    Young Grasshopper… I got tons of respect for what you do for the community, your Youtube channel and your awesome home setup… but I’m going to have to agree to disagree with you on 1941. I think it has a purpose in the lineup if you think of “Starter/Advanced/Expert” and compare it with “1941/1942/1940”. It’s just poorly marked, and I’ll agree with you there, its a bit deceiving. Anyways, how about this… I promise never to go on your Youtube channel and recommend 1941 to anyone!
    😄

    P.S.
    I can’t stress enough my personal distaste for 1941… I like 1942 much better, but I think 1941 is a good bridge between something like Risk and 1942 for kids (an adult could skip 1941)… anything to bring new players into the hobby is a good thing, I think. The other oddity I noticed, was that when I went shopping to pick up both 1941 and 1942… I went all over town and to store after store after store, and all I could find was 1941. I had to order 1942 to get my hands on it. I think that’s an issue there.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Well - I like 1941, 1942.2 and 1940. 🙂

    They are all different, which is great.

    But most of all, I have introduced 18 people to this game and I would not have been able to do that if I did not have an evening variant available.

    Our problem is that we love the game enough to dedicate much more than an evening. But many others enjoy it enough to want to play, but not to spend the whole day at it, or more. I get to enjoy this game with those people - which includes many members of my wider family - only because 1941 is available.


  • 2017 2016

    @Private:

    But most of all, I have introduced 18 people to this game and I would not have been able to do that… if only because 1941 is available.

    If anything, that sums up the very reason 1941 exists, and it’s a very important one.  Kudos for bringing 18 more people into the game, and i’m sure at least some of those will graduate to 1942 and/or 1940 Global at some point (and may even play with Young Grasshopper, which means that in a round-a-bout way, 1941 did something good for him too).


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

    Even if it served no other purpose, 1941 would still be a worthwhile addition to the A&A game line because some of its sculpts can be used to plug three annoying holes that exist in the Global 1940 Second Edition roster of sculpts.  The 1941 game includes a distinctive British transport ship which G40/2 lacks, a distinctive Soviet aircraft carrier which G40/2 lacks, and an American P-40 Warhawk sculpt which fits perfectly in the role of the single Flying Tiger unit that China is allowed to have in G40/2.  So speaking for myself, I’m quite happy that 1941 was published and that it includes those particular units, even though I dislike the fact that the game contains so many nationally-mismatched sculpt designs.  The publishers could definitely have done a better job with it, but the dozen or so new sculpts in the game (the ones which are correctly colour-coded for their countries of origin, and especially the three I’ve mentioned) are more than worth it – at least from the point of view of an A&A sculpt collector.

    If 1941 was the only A&A game currently on the market, then its many deficiencies would certainly give ample cause for complaint.  Fortunately, there are several other A&A games currently in print, and 1941’s existence takes nothing away from these more intricate games.  These games aren’t in competition with other; they complement each other.


  • 2017 2016

    @CWO:

    Even if it served no other purpose, 1941 would still be a worthwhile addition to the A&A game line because some of its sculpts can be used to plug three annoying holes that exist in the Global 1940 Second Edition roster of sculpts.  The 1941 game includes a distinctive British transport ship which G40/2 lacks, a distinctive Soviet aircraft carrier which G40/2 lacks, and an American P-40 Warhawk sculpt… the dozen or so new sculpts in the game (the ones which are correctly colour-coded for their countries of origin, and especially the three I’ve mentioned) are more than worth it – at least from the point of view of an A&A sculpt collector.

    Right on with that.  New sculpts are never a bad thing.  While a lot of the sculpts were badly misused (Japanese Tiger tanks, American Joseph Stalin tanks, etc, etc), some of the one nation sculpts are at least well-useable by other nations… the P-40 for instance, was widely distributed to allies under Lend Lease, including large numbers shipped to both the UK and USSR… so even if the designers were lazy with sharing sculpts to multiple nations in 1941, they knowingly/unknowingly did it right with the P-40!  lolz
    😄



  • @Wolfshanze:

    I think 1941 is well placed in regard to the intent of Larry Harris, which was stated as having a two-fold purpose… an intro game for new players to A&A and/or a shorter game for veterans that can be finished much quicker than other versions.

    They trimmed a LOT of things out of 1941 vs what was in 1942, and I’m sure that’s what you don’t like about 1941… but at the same time, the things they trimmed out are things that make the game quicker to teach, less demanding during the game (the massive reduction in IPC gathering/spending) and make the game shorter… these are things that make the game easier to learn for first time A&A players that would not be the case in 1942 if you used that as an intro.

    Also, 1941 isn’t supposed to be an introduction to strategy gaming for kids… when you say “you want to teach your kids A&A introduce them to chess first…”, 1941 isn’t supposed to be an intro to strategy gaming, it’s supposed to be an intro to A&A gaming. A much better intro to strategy gaming is Risk, which is more A&A light than anything else (and a much closer cousin to A&A than Chess).

    I think the biggest problem with 1941 (and I agree with you on this)… is it’s packaging/marketing… without doing any previous research, or looking into the product line, I could totally see someone going to the store, seeing 1941 either by itself or next to 1942 and thinking its really no different, just starts in a different year, and is like any other version of A&A… I agree with you there, it really should be painfully clear on the box that it’s some sort of “introductory” version or a “bare-bones, A&A-light”. It shouldn’t look identical to 1942 aside from the year on the box. I think veteran A&A players, or adults with a decent grasp on strategy gaming should be directed to 1942 or 1940.

    I don’t expect someone with a basement decked out with not one, but two massive tables dedicated to Global 1940 with (very awesome, might I add) custom table work, massive rows of extra units, bins, dice, etc, to have even one iota of care about 1941… it’s CLEARLY not for you. Heck, 1941 is not for me… personally, I HATE THE GAME! Despite my personal feelings for 1941, I realize it has a purpose, and I agree with Larry Harris that it does fill that gap between something like Risk and something like the larger/longer-playing games of 1942 and 1940. Mismarketed with packaging that makes it look no different from 1942 with a different year on the box? Oh sure, i’ll give you that. It just needs to be better defined so it doesn’t fool people that should be playing 1942 or 1940 into buying 1941 by mistake. I don’t like the game Candyland either, but I realize it has a target market and is properly marketed.

    Young Grasshopper… I got tons of respect for what you do for the community, your Youtube channel and your awesome home setup… but I’m going to have to agree to disagree with you on 1941. I think it has a purpose in the lineup if you think of “Starter/Advanced/Expert” and compare it with “1941/1942/1940”. It’s just poorly marked, and I’ll agree with you there, its a bit deceiving. Anyways, how about this… I promise never to go on your Youtube channel and recommend 1941 to anyone!
    😄

    P.S.
    I can’t stress enough my personal distaste for 1941… I like 1942 much better, but I think 1941 is a good bridge between something like Risk and 1942 for kids (an adult could skip 1941)… anything to bring new players into the hobby is a good thing, I think. The other oddity I noticed, was that when I went shopping to pick up both 1941 and 1942… I went all over town and to store after store after store, and all I could find was 1941. I had to order 1942 to get my hands on it. I think that’s an issue there.

    Fair enough, and well said… I bought 1941 when it came out, opened the board and said NOPE!, but than 1942 came out just months later and that’s when I really felt scammed for buying 41. I will agree to disagree on the merits for manufacturing and distributing an Edition like 1941, but lets not take what Larry says as all truth, I’m guessing he wanted to make money for his new pals at WOTC and saw a market in kids (I would have had a lot more respect for 1941 if they called it A&A junior to protect unaware buyers like myself). Just let me add that since 2015 when we saw all these releases come out, 1941 has 2272 post in 175 topics on these forums… 1942 has 4648 in 365 topics, and 1940 has 50788 in 2927 topics. Therefore, 1940 has more topics over the years than 1941 has actual posts… (not sure how that is relevant, but I just wanted to mention it).


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @Young:

    Just let me add that since 2015 when we saw all these releases come out, 1941 has 2272 post in 175 topics on these forums… 1942 has 4648 in 365 topics, and 1940 has 50788 in 2927 topics. Therefore, 1940 has more topics over the years than 1941 has actual posts… (not sure how that is relevant, but I just wanted to mention it).

    Yes YG - but we are load of A&A addicts!

    1941 has traction in the real world beyond this forum in a way that the more complex versions do not. So far, I have managed to get three of the 18 I have taught 1941 on to 1942.2 and none to 1940.


  • 2017 2016

    @Young:

    Fair enough, and well said… lets not take what Larry says as all truth, I’m guessing he wanted to make money for his new pals at WOTC and saw a market in kids (I would have had a lot more respect for 1941 if they called it A&A junior to protect unaware buyers like myself).

    I actually think that’s marketing genius… I would also be able to get my kids to look at it more favorably if it had a big “Axis and Allies Junior Edition” written across the front.  As it is now, I think I need to play more Risk with the kids before I can move them up to 1941.  To be perfectly honest, I think there’s still a few too many “advanced” rules in 1941 that could/should be trimmed to make it more intro-friendly to the series… like maybe toss a lot of those “still confusing to veterans” sub rules.  I think 1941 should just treat subs like there were in A&A Classic… just like any other ship, and leave the submerging, skipping combat, sneak attacks, doesn’t stop ships and all that other stuff to 1942/40.  Those sub rules still confuse vets, i don’t think they belong in the intro game.

    @Young:

    Just let me add that since 2015 when we saw all these releases come out, 1941 has 2272 post in 175 topics on these forums… 1942 has 4648 in 365 topics, and 1940 has 50788 in 2927 topics. Therefore, 1940 has more topics over the years than 1941 has actual posts… (not sure how that is relevant, but I just wanted to mention it).

    Meh… take it with a grain of salt… by nature, gaming forums are really only for the hardcore player… if 1,000 people played Axis and Allies, i’d be surprised if 100 of them made regular visits to a gaming forum… much like any other game with its “casuals”, like World of Warcraft or anything else… dedicated gaming forums are usually frequented by the hard core fans of the game in question… and I doubt a ton of hardcore fans are playing 1941… hence if this forum is frequented predominately by hardcores, the fact that there are any posts in the 1941 forum are surprising… 1941 by definition is “casual A&A”.  If it was just me and me alone, I wouldn’t bother with 1941 beyond the sculpts… but I am trying to get new blood into the A&A universe, so I have to fiddle with 1941 at least for a little while.


  • '14

    I think if we want new people to learn how to play, the only viable way forward is digital. A digital game with a physical tie in, solves a huge number of issues, not least of which is providing a means by which people can readily find opponents (whether that’s other people online, or simply a computer program.)

    A&A is notoriously difficult to teach, and finding enough experienced people to play a full multiplayer 5 man game is close to impossible.

    A digital game also has the advantage of centralizing the player base, so that it’s easier to provide updates and addendums to the rules, or expansions to the core set. It would also make it easier to sell in a more modular way, whether those materials are digital or physical, because you could have one central hub and clearing house for all of that.

    Brick and mortor game shops hardly exist anymore, and sad while it might be, new players are way more likely to download an app for their phone or tablet or laptop than they are to spring for cardboard and plastic. I’m not saying we need to do away with boxed games, but I think they should have a digital download code and a digital version of the game, that could also be sold seperately.

    I think the old Hasbro CD did a lot to help new people learn how to play Classic.
    TripleA has helped a lot of new people learn how to play the more recent games like Revised, 1942 and Global.

    I’ve had a lot of success using tripleA as an instructional tool.
    I was even able to teach my girlfriends 5 year old some basics of A&A using TripleA, and 5 is way way younger than the recommended age for this game. Digital in combination with a physical board to stage “battles” with actual sculpts and real dice, and it’s possible to teach people a lot faster than you can with cardboard and plastic alone.

    New players are frequently impatient, and want a game that plays “faster” than is usually possible in a face to face game on a physical board. Digital accelerates the process immeasurably, by handling all the time intensive set up, counting and calculation.

    My hope is that any new A&A game will simply be called “Axis and Allies” (not some specific year) and go with the tradition 5 man, world theater formula. And that it be designed with the digital component built into it from the ground up. This game, once established should serve as the core game with the core community gathered around it, with any future expansions or revisions built out along the same model.

    I really have no interest in campaign specific maps, I haven’t particularly enjoyed any of them. But if you were going to have them, it would be a lot easier to build them as expansions to a core game set, rather than as stand alone games.

    As is, these things are too expensive to produce and take up too much physical space to achieve the kind of critical mass in terms of player base, that we’d need to keep the franchise going into the next genetation. It’s just unreasonable to expect that most people will be able to drop a couple hundred dollars on a board game that requires an 8 foot table’s worth of surface area (or more) to play on comfortably. And then to have that version become outdated within a year or two, just makes it even less likely that all the potential players are on the same page.

    My hope is for one final Legacy Edition of A&A, with enough staying power that it can be kept in print indefinitely, the way most other successful boardgames are. If the core game until this point has not been dynamic enough to remain enjoyable over time, such that all these different editions are necessary, then more dynamism should be built into the core game/rules.

    I don’t see for example, why a game like 1941, or 1942 couldn’t have a dozen different set up cards for each nation. So you could get a dozen “official” games out of the same map, instead of just one. Or similarly, why those same games couldn’t have a set of optional/suggested expansion rules included in the manual.



  • You should repost this in the articals forum… Nice job!


  • 2017 2016

    @Black_Elk:

    It’s just unreasonable to expect that most people will be able to drop a couple hundred dollars on a board game that requires an 8 foot table’s worth of surface area (or more) to play on comfortably. And then to have that version become outdated within a year or two, just makes it even less likely that all the potential players are on the same page.

    Unfortunately, it would only become outdated in a year or two if they kept making more versions of Axis and Allies (ie: 3rd edition)… but I think its been made pretty clear they don’t seem interested in making another Axis and Allies (at least not a WWII version).

    @Black_Elk:

    My hope is for one final Legacy Edition of A&A, with enough staying power that it can be kept in print indefinitely, the way most other successful boardgames are. If the core game until this point has not been dynamic enough to remain enjoyable over time, such that all these different editions are necessary, then more dynamism should be built into the core game/rules.

    That would be nice… something like a final Edition that is a little closer to Anniversary would be nice, but like I mentioned above, I don’t think they have plans for more… I think the current lineup is meant to be more a final version whether or not they said it in plain english… they have a learners version (41), a mainstream version (42) and a hardcore version (40)… I think its’ a little excessive, but it seems to be the way they want to leave it.

    @Black_Elk:

    I don’t see for example, why a game like 1941, or 1942 couldn’t have a dozen different set up cards for each nation. So you could get a dozen “official” games out of the same map, instead of just one. Or similarly, why those same games couldn’t have a set of optional/suggested expansion rules included in the manual.

    They could definitely do more… 1941 as it stands is waaaay too static, even for a learners version… I felt after my first play of 1941 that the money constraints were too strict, and even my kids who have never played before wanted to spend more… I think they went a little draconian on the money limitations which is a shame, because 1941 could do a lot more with a little more cash flow… and yes, varied setups would be nice.

    It is what it is… i’m no expert on what they plan on doing with the line, but from the research and articles i’ve read, they don’t seem interested in doing more with the lineup… at least not WWII.  I’d LOVE to be proven wrong… but it is what it is.  Its just one more reason why i’m stocking up so much in extra units and downloading map files before things (potentially) dry up if the company stops supporting it… i’d like to at least be covered for the next 30 years! lol.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    As has been said, I think the logical next step for AH would be a G40 Global “classic” where you can get the whole game in one box.  Maybe they could add on some extras like money, optional units, a 42 setup (not the awful 42 setup from Smorey), victory city markers, tech token… i.e. make an AA anniversary quality type product.

    Otherwise, I tend to agree AH is done w/AA. Larry seems to have moved on. Although he did say he wished he had a chance to do an eastern front game. That would be awesome.  Sigh…

    We should do a kickstarter campaign to buy the brand.


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

    @Karl7:

    We should do a kickstarter campaign to buy the brand.

    A nice idea in principle, though it would have a tricky catch: while it might theoretically be possible for the folks on this forum to collectively own the A&A franchise, how would we handle the issue of collectively deciding what games to produce and collectively agreeing on what their rules would be?  The robust debates that can be found in the forum’s house rules section show that there’s quite a diversity of opinions on those subjects.


  • 2017 2016

    @Karl7:

    Otherwise, I tend to agree AH is done w/AA. Larry seems to have moved on.

    Ya, and I get back into it after missing the last 30 years of A&A, and now Avalon Hill seems done with the franchise… oh well, I’m stocking up plenty of units and making extra maps!


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    @CWO:

    @Karl7:

    We should do a kickstarter campaign to buy the brand.

    A nice idea in principle, though it would have a tricky catch: while it might theoretically be possible for the folks on this forum to collectively own the A&A franchise, how would we handle the issue of collectively deciding what games to produce and collectively agreeing on what their rules would be?  The robust debates that can be found in the forum’s house rules section show that there’s quite a diversity of opinions on those subjects.

    The way to do it would be to collectively buy it via a company where all contributors would get shares per size of donation.  The company would then lease the brand to Historical Boardgaming which would then send back to the company a share of profits (if any) that would then be distributed to shareholders pre rata.

    Easy!  (

    Actually, as a lawyer I can say this would technically not be hard at all to set up. The hard part would be the money. I assume AH would not let go of the brand for less than 6 figures.  Probably more dollars than people who actually own or play the game.)

    Further, I guess I would even be easier for Historical Boardgaming to issue shares itself.  But they probably don’t want to incur the legal costs/challenges with doing that.


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

    @Karl7:

    The way to do it would be to collectively buy it via a company where all contributors would get shares per size of donation.  The company would then lease the brand to Historical Boardgaming which would then send back to the company a share of profits (if any) that would then be distributed to shareholders pre rata.

    Easy!  (

    Actually, as a lawyer I can say this would technically not be hard at all to set up. The hard part would be the money. I assume AH would not let go of the brand for less than 6 figures.  Probably more dollars than people who actually own or play the game.)

    Further, I guess I would even be easier for Historical Boardgaming to issue shares itself.  But they probably don’t want to incur the legal costs/challenges with doing that.

    It’s not really the legal aspects of buying the franchise I was talking about.  Rather, I was referring to the fact that getting two or more people to agree on any given house rule proposal is often a challenge, and that this level of difficulty rises geometrically with each additional person introduced into the equation.  The same problem has cropped in discussions of which new game HBG should produce, or which new combat unit HBG should produce.  If the A&A franchise was collectively owned and collectively controlled, we’d need to have a collective discussion about where to take it next – and my guess it that it would be virtually impossible to reach an agreement.  The only system in which such a deadlock would be avoided would be a system in which one single person had supreme authority to make (and impose) such decisions, and in corporate terms that translates into one person being the majority shareholder…in which case the whole concept of collective ownership and collective control becomes essentially meaningless.

    Or to put it another way: A&A fans have tended to operate under the principle that, as much as they might disagree with some of the elements of the A&A games he designs, Larry is the only person who has the ultimate authority to decide what is official (and what isn’t) in the A&A world.  This makes sense, since he created A&A.  [By analogy: if the A&A franchise was an order of chivalry, Larry would be the “fount of honour” (“fons honorum” in Latin), the person who by virtue of his position has the exclusive right to confer legitimacy on a title or a decoration.]  In the design process for a game, involving lots of contributors and lots of playtesters (no doubt many of them with strong opinions on the subject), there ultimately has to be someone with the authority to make hard decisions about what option will be used to deal with such-and-such a design issue.  So the awkward question is: in a collectively owned A&A franchise, who would be the new Larry and how would one persuade the minority shareholders to hand over that much power to this individual?  How would one even persuade them to become minority shareholders in the first place?


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