Need advice on which version to purchase



  • Hi guys,

    I’m a player from the early version (I have the Nova version - Jedko in fact, and used to love the MB version my friends had), then I stopped for 20 years…

    Did get into Axis and Allies Naval miniatures - WAS, when it came out, and have recently joined a boardgame irl group,

    Seeing what has come out since, I’m a bit baffled,

    I understand 1942 is the chips and Bretzel version, so I won’t be too kin on getting that one,

    I’m getting an OK deal to purchase Revised edition (from Avalon Hill) + Europe and Pacific version from that same editor… at 130 Euros…

    However, if I’m going 130 euros, it could perhaps be best to skip that and move straight to Europe and Pacific 1940, play them seperatly for shorter game times, and combine both for a taste of the anniversary version / sink back into the good old 10 to 15 hours of play when we use to play the MB version…?

    Hence basically my questions are:

    Is it worth it to get those 3 Avalon Hill versions (revised, pacific and Europe) at 130 Euros?
    I see it’s going at around 1000 Euros on Amazon ! lol Why? is there some sort of Hero Quest / Space Crusader effect? do they have something crazy the later version miss (I doubt it).

    Or should I just go for one or 2 of the currently eddited version? I can get Pacific 40 and Europe 40 brand new for 151 euros and that includes shipping (for the Avalon Hill versions I have to pay extra or go get them by road which is probably a 1h30 min / 2h journey in total).

    Thanks for any  help and or advice  :lol:


  • 2017 2016 2015

    Hi Kanguroo

    I’d go Global. It just offers so much more. You can always use a '41 or '42 start if you get pressed for time



  • Hi Barney,

    So basically I should get Pacific 40 and Europe 40?

    Indeed, I also though of doing 41 and 42 set up for faster games… ^^


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Hi Kanguroo and welcome to the forum.

    I am not quite sure what a “chips and Bretzel version” is and I have never played Revised, but the following comment may be helpful.

    1940 Global is for many on the forum the “complete” A&A experience. However, 1942.2 does have a very worthwhile place in the A&A stable, in that it is typically an all-day game, whereas 40G takes a weekend or longer (if involving slower players).

    If looking to play a shorter game than 40G, with the options of 1942.2 or 40 Europe or 40 Pacific, I would always choose 1942.2.

    Having a one day game option may not be of any interest to a hardened veteran like you of course. 🙂


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @Admiral:

    Hi Barney,

    So basically I should get Pacific 40 and Europe 40?

    Indeed, I also though of doing 41 and 42 set up for faster games… ^^

    You pasted that while I was typing my response above Kanguroo ….

    1941 is of value if you are looking for an evening version.

    I have all these variants. 1941 is the most used - I manage to play F2F twice a month.

    Lovers of A&A can get frustrated by the simplifications that make each shorter version faster to play. Personally I like that simplicity as a different A&A experience.


  • 2017 2016 2015

    Hi Panic

    I was thinking of a 41 setup for Global as opposed to the 41 game itself. I’ve never played straight up 41 myself so can’t really say much about it. It definitely would be faster. Also a good play for first time players.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Ahhh! Okay barney. Have tried a couple of 40G alternative set ups which may well be those. Made it a quicker game, but still a multi-day one.



  • @Private:

    Hi Kanguroo and welcome to the forum.

    I am not quite sure what a “chips and Bretzel version” is and I have never played Revised, but the following comment may be helpful.
    I would always choose 1942.2.

    Having a one day game option may not be of any interest to a hardened veteran like you of course. 🙂

    Thanks m8 🙂

    by Chips and Bretzel I meant an afternoon version were one can crack the crackers pack and drinks to enjoy it going into the evening… (or shorter version to simplify), �:lol:

    What do you call 1942.2?

    Is it this : .amazon.com/Axis-allies-1942-Second-Edition/dp/B0080NQ878

    (I’m guessing it is… lol), and if so, it does mention 90 min play time (which indeed sounds like a miracle…), boardgame geeks seem more realistic about that :  240 min… still 4 hours is pretty neat… compared to 15+

    I am hardcore, but isolated, and I do believe that an easier and faster version of the game could be the way ahead to introduce new players (who can later join me for a weekend of folie, and do the 1940 global…)… I also have kids (young), who could fidle around with it…

    I understand this 1942.2 introduces some of the “new”* mechanics (like victory cities etc.) and units … but not mechanised infantry nor mid range bombers… there are less territories to fight for ?

    (*: I left off at classic so everything is new to me… I’m so happy we can now build proper fleets with cruisers, destroyers, which I presume get to hunt subs).

    So judging from you guys, I should just ditch the Avalon Hill editions offered, and go for 1942.2 + 40G right? :mrgreen:


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Could not follow your link but 1942.2 is 1942 second edition, so that is presumably it. Certainly not a 90 minute game. Nor four hours even. Will take all day even with faster players.

    I have found 1941 the best for introducing new players, because it is simpler and also because it can be played in an evening. Have taught perhaps 20 people to play it, most of whom are happy to play again - such that I have two 1941 groups going, both of which meet monthly. But I do struggle to move them up to 1942.2 from there, as they find the complexity of 1941 more than enough. Have not managed to persuade anyone up to 40G. 😢

    The faster the version the fewer the territories / sea zones, fewer unit types and lower the income, reducing the number of units you can buy per turn.

    So certainly 1942.2 and 40G and possibly 1941 if you want to get new players involved.

    Then you’ll have the nightmare of deciding whether to combine all those units or keep them separate! I remember the sleepless nights …. :roll:


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    PS - If you look in each of those forum boards you’ll find the maps our colleagues have created for self-printing, which will show you the differences.

    Many of us print our own map once we have each game, so as to get a bigger playing area. The out of box 1941 map is ridiculously small.



  • Thank you private Panic,

    Yeah links don’t work as it says I can’t Publish links… so I shortened it…

    Thanks for the clarifications… you are making things worse! lol 🙂

    The game group I’m with is more for smaller games… we usually play stuff like:

    Manhattan project
    Adventures of the rail
    Seven wonders
    Agricola
    (1 to 2 hour games // 1941)

    “Longue” game include

    Eclipse
    War of the ring
    (this is closer to 3 to 4 hours), and it’s actually not often that we manage to get everyone around the table to do this… (1942.2)

    I’ve been telling them about A&A for a while now so it would be nice to introduce them to it… so based in the above, 1941 and 1942 would be the way to go, which would also solve in part the problem of units being supplied in smaller number should an eccentric player want to go over the top 😉

    If I ever do get people to play Global or even just Europe, then I’ll get it… got a couple friends who could be into it, (owners of the classic MB version…), but even then, we all have families and it ain’t easy telling the wives we’re going for a Back in time trip of teenager waste land activities - all out week of junk food playing generals with a ww2 flic in the middle…  😉


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Hi Kanguroo

    I play Seven Wonders & Agricola. Both excellent games.

    If your focus is on introducing your friends to playing A&A face to face, then 1941 is the way to go, in my opinion. Once they have got to grips with that you may persuade some or all of them to try 1942.2. You only need one to make the transition and you have a game! 8-)

    1941’s reduced territories, unit types, units and income may make it less satisfactory for you as a game given your past experience with the older versions. Some of our forum colleagues certainly feel that way. But that is not the case for me because my focus is on having fun with friends and I actually enjoy the simplicity as a different A&A experience.

    I find 1941 averages perhaps two and a half hours - for it to be clear who will win, not necessarily to play through to the end. Others on this forum say that their experience is that it takes longer. Given your comment re difficulty getting your friends together for a 3 to 4 hour game, it seems that starting with 1941 may be your only option.

    Many members of this forum play games here, which allows us to enjoy the more complex versions on a more regular basis. If / when that is of interest to you feel free to ask and we can point you in the right direction. 🙂



  • It does seem like it,

    Thanks for the help,

    I’ll check the forum out, and let you know if I need help 🙂


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

    There’s also some advice on which versions to buy in this thread:

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=32521.0


  • 2017 2016

    @Private:

    So certainly 1942.2 and 40G and possibly 1941 if you want to get new players involved.

    Then you’ll have the nightmare of deciding whether to combine all those units or keep them separate! I remember the sleepless nights …. :roll:

    Oh, I don’t think combining the units is such a big deal, especially if you’re just combining 1941 with 1942.2 (which is exactly what I did).  1941 out of the box comes with a complete dearth of units, and really benefits being combined with 1942 in common unit trays… it never hurts to have extra units on-hand, and 1941 offers unique sculpts that 1942.2 doesn’t have, so it’s kind of a win/win scenario… it’s not like you’re going to play both 1941 and 1942 at the same time, so having the units in one bin isn’t going to hurt anything… I use national bins (one for each country) and its easy enough to pull out for whichever game I’m playing, 1941 or 1942… I never once hesitated to combine the unit pools.

    NationTrays1.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    You are clearly a sensible guy Wolf!

    I like to stress as much as possible over earth shattering decisions such as whether to combine my 1941, 1942.2 and 1940G units, which I eventually did.

    Currently worrying about whether to comb over from the left or the right. It’s tough! :roll:


  • 2018 2017

    We play a eurogames night, this is much more attractive to one group of my friends that has more females in it.  We just played Suburbia;  this game is excellent.  We also like Caverna and Agricola, these take the full amount of setup and playtime allotted (usu 7-1030)

    AxA is a different beast entirely.  Only guys play AxA.  Most people don’t even want to play, as the 4 hour commit to other wargames seems casual compared to global.

    We usually play 42.2 (amzn; $42) in the evenings with our house club.  Sometimes, a weekend evening game.  When we have a full 8 hour day available, we play Global.  These boards are the most comprehensive, bringing out all the teams and pieces.    Many people would like to set this up, play a few turns and then come back to the board later but this takes an area with no kids, no cats, and lots of space.  I find that whether we play for 4 or 8 turns, the game really doesn’t come to a Victory Conditions ending, it either becomes clear that Russia has fallen and that the allies cannot assault Germany, or that Japan or Germany has blown its starting advantage and does not have enough momentum left to conquer Russia/hold asia or otherwise, hold off the Allies.  That means that the second session would largely be wrapup and after 7-9 hours, the game is pretty much done.

    I do not recommend the very cheap 1941 version.  Many people think it is great for learning but is even more simplistic than 1985 or 42.2 and the board was easy for my son to tear in half while I wasn’t looking (and hes no wrecker).  There are too few pieces.

    So, I would allot 4 hours for 42.2 and 9 for G40.  There are other setups for the G40 boards (G41, G42) but don’t get the impression that they are necessarily shorter per se, G41 has so many units on it the battles are epic and take players a while to set up.  G42 plays about 7 turns to see what happens (~1 hour per turn).

    I would recommend having Memoir 44 for 1 hour, eurogames for mixed groups 2, 42.2 for 3, (half day Flames of War/Tide of Iron) and full day, Global.


  • 2017 2016

    @taamvan:

    I do not recommend the very cheap 1941 version.   Many people think it is great for learning but is even more simplistic than 1985 or 42.2 and the board was easy for my son to tear in half while I wasn’t looking (and hes no wrecker).  There are too few pieces.

    Ugh… what is it with the 1940 Global grognards?  Yes, we all get it, you are in love with the most in-depth, complicated, far-encompassing version of Axis and Allies there has ever been, and all other versions of A&A are inferior, and 1941? Not even worth your time… we get that.  But just because you don’t find 1941 enjoyable or to have value doesn’t mean everyone else feels the same way as you.

    If I, as a slightly more casual wargamer had the same attitude, I would go around on the board telling everyone not to bother with 1940 Global*… 1) its far too expensive, 2) the rules are far more complicated compared to the others, 3) the game takes forever and a day to play, 4) you’ll have a hard time finding anyone else who wants to commit that much time to the game.

    But I don’t go around saying that… Why?  Because I realize 1940 Global has a well-deserved spot on the A&A chart, its the end-all, be-all version of A&A, a lot of people DO enjoy that version of the game, and more than anything else, I respect other people playing what they find enjoyable.

    First of all, there is a market for 1941… yes its cheap… its cheap for many reasons… 1) it doesn’t have a zillion units, and that cuts cost down, 2) smaller board, thinner rulebook… but for those reasons, 1941 has its appeal… cheap is cheap, and sometimes people prefer cheap to expensive. More people buy cheap then buy expensive. Why pay over $100 on A&A when you can spend $20 on A&A if they’re just trying A&A out for the first time?  Less rules means less turn-off for someone just wanting to try it out… less units and less budget spending each turn means MUCH quicker games than 1942 or 1940, and shorter time commitment, means more people are likely to try it out.

    As for some of your direct complaints about 1941, the board is of pretty much the exact same quality of the 1942.2 board as far as I can tell and I think that’s not any measurable complaint about the game (first I heard someone complaining about the 1941 board quality). I think the lack of units in 1941 is of-course the most valid complaint, and I agree, it could use a few more units, but its not unplayable as-is out of the box, and if taken for what it is… a learning tool to get people’s feet wet in the A&A universe, it does its job adequately.

    Let me put it to you another way… don’t cut your nose off to spite your face. The more people that have access to a game like 1941, means potentially more people that will eventually graduate to 1942 and/or 1940 Global. There might be 50 people in your neighborhood that would NEVER spend over $100 on 1940 Global and/or put the time commitment in on such a game out of the blue, but would be willing to spend the money and time on 1941 to check A&A out… then maybe 5 or 10 of those people find out they love A&A and eventually graduate to 1940 and become regular opponents for you across your 1940 game table. This would never happen if because you don’t like 1941, you told everyone to stay away from what would otherwise be a cheap, quick and easy intro to the A&A world of gaming.

    Bottom line, I don’t think its a positive thing to the small A&A community to steer people away from a game clearly designed to cheaply and quickly introduce new blood into the A&A community who may very well end-up graduating to the 1940 Global version of the game that most people on this forum love to play, precisely because a game like 1941 exists.

    *DISCLAIMER
    Personally, I’d actually love to play 1940 Global, but I probably never will, as a single dad with a lot of commitments, I just cant see me ever having the time to set aside for such a massive game (especially finding an opponent willing to do the same). I deeply respect those that play 1940 Global, often with envious eyes at the über-cool setups many Global enthusiasts have… but reality is reality… I have a hard enough time finding anyone who will play 1942.2 with me (my personal preferred version of the game… no I don’t love 1941 either, but I see its value and place in the A&A lineup).

    @Private:

    Currently worrying about whether to comb over from the left or the right. It’s tough! :roll:

    Once again… easy solution here… I too once had to decide to do comb-over left or right… but modern times call for more simple solutions… I call it “the Bruce Willis”… go see barber… say “set setting to ‘1’ on razor”… bingo-bango… you now look like Bruce Willis.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    While I understand what you are saying Wolf, taamvan’s opinion is shared by many others on this forum. Kanguroo might play 1941 and decide he agrees with them.

    Personally I much prefer playing face to face and the players I know are considerably more willing to play 1941. So it is an invaluable part of my a&a collection. But if I knew a bunch of people who wanted to play the longer variants every month then 1941 would see the light of day less often. Its comparative clean simplicity would ensure it continued to be played, but less frequently than currently.

    What makes 1941 obvious for Kanguroo is his friends’ playing availability. In my mind at least as I simply don’t recognise taamvan’s game playing durations.

    P.S. I have decided on a toupee, but cannot decide between purple afro and pink mohican. Any thoughts?


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @Private:

    While I understand what you are saying Wolf, taamvan’s opinion is shared by many others on this forum. Kanguroo might play 1941 and decide he agrees with them.

    Wolf is trying to find things to complain about. He fabricated the whole Global 40 rant simply to say something. I almost said that yesterday, but decided against it.

    @Private:

    P.S. I have decided on a toupee, but cannot decide between purple afro and pink mohican. Any thoughts?

    :lol:   Pink Mohican clearly.


  • 2017 2016

    @LHoffman:

    Wolf is trying to find things to complain about. He fabricated the whole Global 40 rant simply to say something. I almost said that yesterday, but decided against it.

    Kinda like how LHoffman is trying to find something to complain about Wolf directly, and decided to go ahead and run with it because personal attacks are cool?


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @Wolfshanze:

    @LHoffman:

    Wolf is trying to find things to complain about. He fabricated the whole Global 40 rant simply to say something. I almost said that yesterday, but decided against it.

    Kinda like how LHoffman is trying to find something to complain about Wolf directly, and decided to go ahead and run with it because personal attacks are cool?

    Yeah, sure man.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Hey Guys - please don’t contaminate our fun chats with another falling out. 🙂


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    Global 40 is the big boy, but ironically, I find it a very tight, almost unforgiving game.  One wrong move, and bamb! – you are dead. Of course this can vary with skill levels, but playing good players, especially on the league, can turn this game into a nail bitting chess game with dice.

    The last 1942 version to come is a respectable game, if a little dull.

    Probably the best “medium” version is Anniversary, if you can get it.

    But I think the best game for the optimal combo of money down/play length/enjoyment is Pacific 2001. That sucker was great!


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