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Why does every version seem to favor the Axis?



  • As I read more posts here, I always find it strange that most people say that just about every version of this game is slanted towards the Axis.  I’m not doubting this claim per se, but I want to understand why.

    If I had to guess, it’s due to the tank drive to Moscow strategy. Or to put it more simply, it’s too easy to tag team Russia once Japane has Factories on the east coast of Asia.  I find when opponents don’t put factories on the main land as Japan, the Allies typically don’t have much problem winning.

    What are everyone else’s thoughts?



  • Unlike NFL football, defence doesn’t win championships here… In A&A, you are either the one expanding, or the one containing… aggressive expansion is not only the high ground advantage in this game, it’s also way more fun.



  • I don’t believe this game is designed to favor the evil Axis. I believe it just takes longer time to learn to play the Allies properly.



  • @Narvik:

    I don’t believe this game is designed to favor the evil Axis. I believe it just takes longer time to learn to play the Allies properly.

    I second this notion to some extent, mainly because good coordination is required to fully utilize the allied powers.  Not too often are Germany and Japan able to greatly help each other achieve the same objective.



  • @axis_roll:

    mainly because good coordination is required to fully utilize the allied powers.

    This is correct. From the first MB Classic edition in 1984 and forward, the designer has always stated that this is a team game. You need to fight as a team and win as a team. The classic Allied move from the old days was that the player that went next after an Axis, would attack and take the territory, then the two other Allies would move in some huge stacks of inf and fighters and reinforce the place. Even the rules are designed to favor team play, like you are not allowed to land your fighter in your newly occupied territory, but your allies are allowed to. Then we got all the can opener strategies. Its impossible to block a combat move if you face a team. The first player will kill the blocking unit, then the next players will blitz through. Now since the Axis goes alone, individually, they need to be strong. The Allies on the other hand, work as a team, they need to be smart, learn all the gamey tricks, get free rides on allies trannies and carriers and that kind of stuff



  • I would say that by making Germany go first, Axis will always have a slight advantage, all other things being equal-ish. Axis gets to set the strategy for the game: they male the moves, and then the Allies must respond. This sort of forces the Allies to prepare for multiple possible Axis moves, while the Axis merely need to prepare one strategy to take, maybe a backup for bad rolls (something low luck and battle calculators have eliminated for some players).

    Like Young Grasshopper said, A&A favors the aggressive side, and Axis is always the aggressive side.



  • @amanntai:

    Like Young Grasshopper said, A&A favors the aggressive side, and Axis is always the aggressive side.

    Like in chess, I believe A&A favors the side with a better brain. The aggressive player need luck with dice to succeed.



  • @Narvik:

    @amanntai:

    Like Young Grasshopper said, A&A favors the aggressive side, and Axis is always the aggressive side.

    Like in chess, I believe A&A favors the side with a better brain.

    But if two “infinitely good” players play chess, it always ends in a draw. If two infinitely good players play Axis and Allies, The Axis will win, unless the dice intervene.

    Brains alone cannot fix the inherent game mechanics that favor Axis.

    The aggressive player need luck with dice to succeed.

    Yes, but so does the defender. Dice and luck does not mean Axis and Allies does not favor the Axis.


  • 2015

    @axis_roll:

    @Narvik:

    I don’t believe this game is designed to favor the evil Axis. I believe it just takes longer time to learn to play the Allies properly.

    I second this notion to some extent, mainly because good coordination is required to fully utilize the allied powers.  Not too often are Germany and Japan able to greatly help each other achieve the same objective.

    Amen.  The Axis are not overpowered, the Allies just take more coordination, whereas the Axis never truly have to work together



  • I have played: Classical, Revised, normanide, global 1940, 1914 and anniversary.
    of thise, classical and revised are pretty well known to favour the allies massivly, almost to the point of the axis not being able to win without a bid. I do belive very few experienced players would disagree with this.

    Global seems to favour the axis imo, but there also seems to be a big debate, this also seems to be influenced by which of the three alpha versions, the .2 or the .1 version you are playing. So it is diffucult to actyually count the game in either column.

    I have heard people make claims both ways for anniversary and normandie, however, I think there is a smal majority claiming they favour the axis.

    Lastly, I am pretty sure there is a fairly broad consesnus that the allies are the stronger side in 1914.

    So, of the 6 games I have played, there is about a 3-2 split in who is the stronger side, with global as probably an axis game.

    So, in short, I am not sure who is the strongest side.



  • I think classic may favor the Allies because you can get from Easter US to France in one move.  So the US is getting into the action right away.

    I think if Japan doesn’t do tank drive to moscow, the allies chances dramatically increase in most versions.



  • Axis classic has allied as a MASSIVE favourite. Just look at the forum and see how much experience people bid in extra troops for the axis. Without bid, the consensus is that the axis will lose 99+% of the games.

    Axis revised is similar, in my 40+ BGO games with revised, I won all except one game where the bid was less than 10.  The game I lost was the game where I lost both the attack on ukraine and the attack on W russia on R1. I had no army left….

    ( Attack against Ukraine was: 3 inf, 1 art, 2 ftrs and 2 tank against  3 inf, 1 art, 1ftr and 1 tank)
    (Attack against W russia was: 9 inf, 1 art, 2 tank against 3 inf, 1 art and 1 tank)

    @ChromiumAgeCollector:

    I think classic may favor the Allies because you can get from Easter US to France in one move.  So the US is getting into the action right away.

    I think if Japan doesn’t do tank drive to moscow, the allies chances dramatically increase in most versions.

    This is not how you winn about 100% of the games in classic. The way you do it is to create an inf bridge with two groups of 4 transporters going from canada to scandinavia every single turn, while fighting for africa with us and uk.

    it is pretty easy to have 8 us troops, 6 british and 8 ussr troops arriving in karelia/moscow every single turn of the game, there is almost no way for japan to actually take moscow then. This is why most people have massive bids in classic. If you bit extra troops, then bids are often above 25IPC in extra starting troops for the axis. if you bid extra production, bids as high as 10-12 ipc extra per turn for germany is not uncommon.


  • 2017 2016

    What’s the consensus on favored sides in 1941 and 1942 SE?


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @Wolfshanze:

    What’s the consensus on favored sides in 1941 and 1942 SE?

    At the risk of bumping an old thread, I’m pretty sure that Axis are considered at an advantage in the latest (2012) incarnation of 1942SE, albeit by not the same margin as in Global.

    My playtesting has found that if you go after the 50/50 battle as UK in SZ37 IIRC and take down the battleship, the Allies usually win. That such a swing is on a coin flip is the reason I think this board is somewhat broken. Downgrading the BB to a Cruiser and one of the UK Cruisers to a DD would be an enormous improvement IMO.



  • I think it’s balanced, but Allies have to play the long game, whereas Axis has fun from the onset.

    In many games played with my son, Russia, Germany, England and Italy have all fallen, but in all but one (because of a lone Anzac transport with one infantry walking into a smoldering Japan), Washington or Tokyo have never been taken, the game has been called before the actual invasion since there was no escape and we didn’t see a point of going through the slog.


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

    Every version favors the axis in terms of starting military strength, but the allies always have economic advantage. Its always a race for the axis to capture enough territories to get economic parity


  • 2019 2017 2016

    Which is also historically accurate.


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