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Wolf's unskilled, on a budget, modest home, custom A&A mods!


  • 2017 2016

    There are some amazingly AWESOME members on this site who do some fantastic work across the board on all kinds of things with Axis and Allies that I can only dream of… but speaking of dreams, i’m the mayor of realville, and in my world, I have realized the following things.
    I’m not a carpenter
    I’m not a painter
    I operate on a tight budget
    I don’t have a basement, large study, or spare room I can dedicate strictly to A&A

    Seeing as i’m none of the above, that pretty much rules out building a custom A&A table, painting a few hundred units with awesome work, paying someone else to do all that for me, or actually having the space to put such an awesome table in my house. To all you on the forum able to do such awesome work, I salute you… much kudos to you… if I ever visit your home, please have bread and peanut butter on stand by, cuz i’m bringing plenty of jelly! Now on to what I can do!

    The below info and pics is what a completely untalented in all the needed fields guy can do… and, if you’re like me… this is still within your grasp! (Good News!). I don’t foresee myself ever having the space, time or friends willing for Global 1940 (though I think that game is awesome), so I’m limiting myself (for now, unless I can con some friends to step up to Global 40) to Axis and Allies 1941 (to teach the noobs in my hometown) and Axis and Allies 1942 SE (once I get them on board).

    I’ve done the following to trick-out my Axis and Allies Setup:

    1. Purchased both A&A 1941 plus A&A 1942 SE, combining all units into common unit trays
    2. Obtained six storage bins (using hardware store screw organizers) for storing the five nations and one neutrals bin, marking each with custom made national stickers for easy identification
    3. Purchased additional A&A OOB units from HBG and E-Bay eventually doubling or tripling available units for each unit type over what I would have had by combining 1941 and 1942 units alone.
    4. Beefed up a “neutrals” tray with 24 factory sculpts, custom damage chips and some neutral infantry, tanks and fighters for (pending sometime) neutral country house rules for 1942 SE
    5. Made a custom Battle Board from a PDF file available on this forum, printed on banner vinyl and hard-mounted at a frame shop (fits in game box!)
    6. Printed custom enlarged maps for both 1941 and 1942 on banner vinyl (stored in map tubes)
    7. Purchased “Battle Bucks” from HBG and IPC chips from IWNGU gaming (pictured with maps below) for in-game cash (plus extra IPC chips, as I have extra 10s and 25s for big spenders)
    8. Purchased 30 Combat Dice from FMG (six dice for each nation), for some national swag on rolls, and a nice ammo pouch to hold them in
    9. obtained a nice wood & felt dice tray… every gamer needs one of these (and to be honest, I’ve had this tray for awhile for other games… but if you need one, try Amazon.com if you don’t know where to look).

    I think that’s it guys… i’m including some pics of my customization’s… if you have any questions or comments, feel free to do so.
    AndACustom1sm.jpg
    AndACustom2sm.jpg


  • 2017 2016

    And a closer look at my Battle Board and dice/tray.

    AndACustom3sm.jpg
    AndACustom4sm.jpg


  • 2017 2016

    I’ve posted these elsewhere before, but for keeping stuff together and organized, these are definitely relevant to this thread… a closer look at the storage bins (stored side view) and over the top of all six bins with units inside and national stickers on top.

    If you like the storage bins I use, they are “Stack-On SBR-13: 13 Compartment Storage Organizer Box with Removable Dividers”. I bought mine at my local hardware store (Lowes, in my case), but they are also available on Amazon if you’d prefer to order them. They are about $3.25 a piece, so don’t cost much.
    Current Amazon link:
    http://www.amazon.com/Stack--SBR-13-Compartment-Organizer-Removable/dp/B000AM8BBI/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1461292343&sr=1-1&keywords=Stack-On+SBR-13+13+Compartment+Storage+Organizer+Box+with+Removable+Dividers%2C+Red

    GameShelf1.jpg
    NationTrays1.jpg


  • 2017 2016

    Here are my printed (on banner vinyl) maps for play… they are both roughly the same size, as I used the biggest playing surface I had in my house as the size limitation for both maps.  Included is both 1941 and 1942SE.  Forgive any blurriness, its not the maps, its my shaky camera hand.

    my1941custommap1.jpg
    my1942custommap1.jpg



  • @Wolfshanze:

    Gonna be honest, I’m seriously considering some custom maps… probably of the roll-out sort… But since I can’t do a custom table or bunker, i’ll have to take some measurements around the house and find the best place to play a larger map and measure out how big I should/could make them.

    You could always make a portable top to put on your regular table. If you have storage space.


  • 2017 2016

    @MagnuZealot:

    You could always make a portable top to put on your regular table. If you have storage space.

    Ya, I’ve located my largest useable playing surface (my kitchen island is far bigger than my kitchen table, it has space around it, and I scored four nice barstools for it)… so that’s my playing surface for when/if I find some opponents… now as for the map(s) themselves, since the kitchen island is definitely only a temporary surface for gaming, I’m debating between a roll-out vinyl map, or hard mounting the map to something perhaps hangable on a wall when not in use, and laying it flat on the kitchen island for gaming.  Still not sure which direction to go, but I’m probably leaning just a rollout… unless the corners not sitting flat starts to bug me a lot.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    I like the round felt dice tray. Most people use the rectangular ones but for some reason I really like the round one.

    Battle boards… eh, never cared for those and never used them. I know some people do though. Nice that you printed a custom one though.


  • 2017 2016

    @LHoffman:

    I like the round felt dice tray. Most people use the rectangular ones but for some reason I really like the round one.

    Ya, I really like the round one too… if you like it that much, the one I have is currently being sold on Amazon.com brand new.  I’ve only had mine for a few months.

    @LHoffman:

    Battle boards… eh, never cared for those and never used them. I know some people do though. Nice that you printed a custom one though.

    I can skip them personally, but you have to remember, I’m in an Axis and Allies void where I live… I’m going to have to teach everyone how to play the game. Having said that, I think Battle Boards help newbies to the genre a better grasp of the unit values and how the attack rounds work.  After you become a vet and know the values by heart, they’re skippable… but like I said, I had one made to help with training new people to the game… and I think the battle strips that come with the new games are terrible.  Hence, I went with a custom board.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @Wolfshanze:

    Ya, I really like the round one too… if you like it that much, the one I have is currently being sold on Amazon.com brand new.  I’ve only had mine for a few months.

    Cool thanks for the heads up. I may check it out.

    @Wolfshanze:

    I can skip them personally, but you have to remember, I’m in an Axis and Allies void where I live… I’m going to have to teach everyone how to play the game. Having said that, I think Battle Boards help newbies to the genre a better grasp of the unit values and how the attack rounds work.  After you become a vet and know the values by heart, they’re skippable… but like I said, I had one made to help with training new people to the game… and I think the battle strips that come with the new games are terrible.  Hence, I went with a custom board.

    I understand that and figured that was the case. I don’t believe that I ever used them, even when starting out… but then again, we had a lot of funny rule interpretations back then too. I would consider making my own to teach beginners also.


  • 2017 2016

    Updated my 1941 map pics with new vinyl map in-play. Here’s some initial setup pics of the 1941 map… ETO:

    my1941custommap3.jpg


  • 2017 2016

    1941 PTO:

    my1941custommap4.jpg
    my1941custommap5.jpg



  • Very nicely done… looks great.

    I see you have contributed to the Canadian economy and splurged for those expensive poker chips  (just kidding)  :evil:


  • 2017 2016

    Well I realized they were cheaper than I first thought once I realized the current exchange rate.  :evil:

    Besides, you told me on your Youtube Channel to support Canada, so I did.  Also, I ordered some extra 10s and 25s, which are already in-route from Toronto.

    I’m very happy with the map results for both 1941 and 1942… I lack the skills and room for a proper bunker, but I was able to get much larger maps that can fit on my largest flat surface, and they roll up nicely into a couple of solid storage tubes I got for safe keeping.



  • If you have been rolling it up, what are you doing to keep it flat?


  • 2017 2016

    I picked up a couple of 37" Alvin Ice transparent PVC storage tubes (pic below) to store my 1941 and 1942 maps in to keep them safe.

    Since they are totally contained and protected, I roll them map-side-facing-out, so that when I unroll them, if there’s any kind of curve, its a downward one, which quickly flattens in a few seconds.  It might also be the materiel… I know you used Pyrene while I used Vinyl… I don’t know if one is a better choice or not, but I just stuck with Outdoor Banner Vinyl since it seemed to work so well with my earlier battle board project.  When I unroll the map, it has a slight downward curve to the table for a few seconds, then flattens out on its own… I don’t do anything special to get it to lie flat (other than perhaps rolling it map-side-out).

    StorageTube.jpg


  • 2017 2016

    Updated my 1942 map pics with new vinyl map in-play. Here’s some initial setup pics of the 1942 map… ETO:

    my1942custommap3.jpg
    my1942custommap4.jpg


  • 2017 2016

    1942 PTO:

    my1942custommap5.jpg
    my1942custommap6.jpg



  • Very nice maps! Looks very clean!
    Vinyl are a great material  😉


  • 2017 2016

    Ty, I love my vinly maps… got em stored in map tubes when not in use… I love using these maps over the game boards, it adds so much more to the gaming experience (plus extra room for units, since I do my best never to “chit” units).


  • 2017 2016 Customizer

    @Wolfshanze:

    Ty, I love my vinly maps… got em stored in map tubes when not in use… I love using these maps over the game boards, it adds so much more to the gaming experience (plus extra room for units, since I do my best never to “chit” units).

    What was the cost of the vinyl? I still use the boards for now, i have some mods to do before im ready for a print.

    Also, I hate chits too, unless its aircraft, as they move as a squadron ( i love the look of 20 bombers stacked up with singles muhaha) , land units, who knows where they are going/splitting up, I hate unchipping.


  • 2017 2016

    @siredblood:

    What was the cost of the vinyl? I still use the boards for now, i have some mods to do before im ready for a print.

    Also, I hate chits too, unless its aircraft, as they move as a squadron ( i love the look of 20 bombers stacked up with singles muhaha) , land units, who knows where they are going/splitting up, I hate unchipping.

    My custom 1941 cost about $70 (US) at Fed-Ex Print Shop… pic below showing map and size vs original 1941 board.

    My custom 1942 map cost about $90 (US) at the Fed-Ex shop because i modified the size a bit and it is a tad larger… pic below.

    my1942custommap2.jpg
    my1941custommap2.jpg


  • 2017 2016

    Oh, and here’s a custom vinyl map setup for play… note its 1942SE… I don’t have Global, but there are maps for printing global as well…

    my1942custommap5.jpg
    my1942custommap1.jpg


  • 2017 2016 Customizer

    Looks like a good print, thanks for the data. I still have a month + before im ready to print 😞


  • 2017 2016

    Another round of A&A Stickers printed up… more projects in-work…

    StickersRound2.jpg


  • 2017 2016

    I know everything is about the current versions of Axis and Allies, but trying to get my younger kids to play A&A, I wondered if they would like the original better than 1941 as a learning tool and intro to the game…

    I dug through my attic to find my old A&A Classic only to find it had seen better days… while the box and board were in pretty good shape, 20 years of military moves and over 30 years of aging took its toll on my components… the Styrofoam trays (that I never liked even in the 80s) were simply a poor storage solution for moving about, and the pieces had all been tossed and turned inside the box over the years and the plastic chips had all faded and discolored with age… a lot of my infantry, especially the Germans and Americans for some reason, had apparently undergone serious combat… many cut in two, men missing limbs, most had their gun barrels broken off… stupid useless Styrofoam trays!  I curse you! I also had the original First-Edition rules, which were hugely unbalanced in favor of the Allies with the Commander-in-Chief rules.

    Well obviously it wasn’t really in playable shape. I didn’t want to try and get my kids into A&A with what was left of my version of Classic… so… time for some upgrades and refurbishments…

    1st, I ordered a bunch of replacement units off of E-Bay (HBG doesn’t really stock much for Classic)… I got all the units back up AT LEAST to original game numbers, and in some cases more (where I remembered nations needing more… like a lot more Russian infantry, more German tanks, more Allied Bombers), next I ditched all the terrible Styrofoam trays, replacing them with more modern plastic storage bins… I chose the Husky 7" bins for the nation trays (and one Husky 6" bin for the accessories… and yes, I know the 6" is bigger than the 7", that’s just what Husky calls them)… and yes, everything fit in the original box (the nation trays all fit on the bottom, I place the board on top of them and the rules/accessories bin on top of the game board)… I also replaced all the chips in the game, ordering plenty of modern grey, green and red chips and placing them in the accessories bin… finally, I got a hold of the 2nd-Edition rules off E-Bay and replaced my 1st-Edition rules.

    All-in-all, very happy sprucing up the old original classic game more in-line with my more current versions.

    ClassicDeluxe.jpg
    ClassicDeluxeBinsOpen.jpg


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