• In order to be disappointed, one must have some sort of expectations, or another subject to compare it to. Well, that would be my other board games, card games and video games.

    First of all, let me tell you, I’m not here to burn out the fire of everyone else on these forums. I just have some issues with this game that I’d like to say and I could give advice to. I’m not saying AA is a bad game, but these reasons are bothering me.

    1. Clutter

    From setting things up, to using the battle board, a minor tap on the table shifts units here and there. Placing units back on the board or picking them up is quite tricky sometimes. A lot of my time was wasted on this.

    1. Rules

    We got pretty much everything except where planes land after battles, what transports do in the combat/noncombat phase and if any ship gets attacked by a battleship they die automatically.

    1. Space

    The board, the miniboards, the battle area, the production chart, area for pieces, dice, area for the banker… Our table barely fit everything.

    Keep in mind this is my first time I actually started playing it. After about the third turn of everybody (I played with 3 other people, I was US Russia), we called it quits. It had been 4 hours and our heads were hurting. I’m wondering if anyone had any similar problems with their first times and if it got any better for them.

    I’m just getting a feeling that perhaps I’ll bring Risk 2210, Cosmic Encounter, or rather just play a good game of Texas hold em than AA next time. I have a strong doubt the people I played with want to play again. (we are seniors in high school)

    I guess it was just too complex and mentally demanding from most other experiences.

  • Moderator

    1. Don’t use the battleboard unless you absolutely have to (i.e. Huge battles that will be hard to keep track of.) Yeah I understand the frustration. If one territory is getting too cluttered don’t forget the Marshalling cards.

    2. Planes can land in non-combat in:

    1. Territories controlled by you at the beginning of your turn
    2. Aircraft Carriers Controlled by you or an Ally (Fighters only)
    or 3. A Allied controlled Territory.

    They cannot land in a newly conquered territory… This should make sense since Establishing Airfields and the Logistics to run them didn’t pop up overnight.

    Transports can load/offload and move… just remember that they forfeit all other movements if they offload

    Battleships take 2 Hits to destroy… that is their only advantage… Submarines have the first strike Capability (Ships Die Automatically)…

    1. Yeah we play on my Dining room Table (6’ by 4 some odd…) get a bigger one… It will save you some heartache (especially if you have animals with unassuming tails)

    THIS GAME DEMANDS 99.999999999999999999999999 OF YOUR MENTAL CAPACITY! It will give you a cramp the first couple times while you develop your playing style and view different strategies… but beyond that it will be a breeze… It is not a light game in one sense… but that is what makes it interesting…

    I was never a “true gamer” before I was introduced to AaA so I that was my starting level… You probably developed a taste for lighter games which is understandable… I say keep trying and if you still don’t like it after a couple tries (and switching sides) then ditch it… but I bet you’ll like it after a while.

    Happy Gaming,


  • I have to agree with GG on one very critical point…

    pets with tails can wreak havoc with a game.  At one time we had a rule… “cat(astrophic) damage” was a nuclear attack… play with remaining units 😛

    As for table size, etc…

    I have my board set up on a small coffee table, about the same width as the board is high, and about 10" longer.  I have the pieces in “floss” boxes from a craft store, and they sit either under the table, or off to the side on the floor when I am actually engaged in moves.  I don;t use battle boards, marshalling cards, etc.

    If you use the chips well, even Europe is manageable… if you are not kicking the table and don;t have pets in the toom with the game.

    As for serious gaming… yes, A&A is a rather intense game in terms of the amount of your brain you need engaged in the game while playing… certainly more than the vast majority of games (your typical board or video game, cards, etc).  But, as a LONG time AD&D player, I find A&A to actually be rather relaxing and stress reducing (most of the time 😛 )

    Well, too sunny and wonderful outside to stay in here on the PC right now… non-A&A activities are calling 🙂

  • I usually have a stool and a couple other surfaces around the table, and i dont think the battleboard is really necessary.  By the second time playing you should have memorized how strong units are.

    Me and the friends that I play with are freshman in highschool, so if we can do it I know a senior can.  Also, we don’t drink, and from what I have heard from this forum a couple of beers make this game complicated.  So maybe theres a slight advantage of not being older and wiser.

  • I think it was my fault for throwing AA at them when they aren’t usually board gamers. When they put challenging on the difficulty, now I know why!

    I think next time, I’m going to throw Cosmic Encounter at them and possibly Risk 2210. Steady difficulty should be more managable than climbing a cliff day 1.

  • I think you are old enough to figure the game out, but pay attention to the learning curve.  I started when I was a freshman in highschool and the competition was pretty fierce so you had to learn quick.  If you want a comparison of a game that is “difficult” try Third Reich….or for more fun Advanced Third Reich.

    Be patient and listen to folks on the boards, they will help a lot.  You will be raised to the level of your peers, so don’t give up.

  • Well, improving myself is one thing, but I think my friends lack the patience to learn as I am doing. They look for instant gratification, but I seek a long term commitment.

    You can only get so far by playing board games with yourself. I just need A game to get them hooked on boardgames and say, “Wow these boardgames can be a lot of fun!”, “Maybe I should try some more!”.

  • @Revelade:

    You can only get so far by playing board games with yourself.

    You might want to check out some of the Play By E-Mail and Play By Forum options available 🙂

  • I agree you really need to play with someone in order to spark your interest to keep you going. You can play using the Triple A program which is great (I’ll play you if you want) or by the forums or by email.

  • For the unit issue we developed a special houserule. You must throw the dice in the box. This prevents them from accidentaly getting in a part of the map where they do damage.

  • @Revelade:

    Well, improving myself is one thing, but I think my friends lack the patience to learn as I am doing. They look for instant gratification, but I seek a long term commitment.

    You can only get so far by playing board games with yourself. I just need A game to get them hooked on boardgames and say, “Wow these boardgames can be a lot of fun!”, “Maybe I should try some more!”.

    Worry not, for only so many people enjoy playing these games and they are far and few between.  The majority of my friends are of the gamer types and always have been.  This is nothing new.  The developers at Bungie Software (Myth: the Fallen Lords…etc) had a saying when they toasted their beers, “here’s to us, and those LIKE us!”  They recognized there were people out there who had the same level of fanaticism for games as they did, but were not known or present at the time.

    Somewhere in the world, someone may be toasting you.


  • I’m wondering if you guys have any tips or what you guys do TO introduce a game like AA to new players. Do you do anything to make it seem interesting? Do you have prizes to the winner? Do you take out some rules to make it simpler?

  • I bring a set of Axis and Allies with me to strip clubs.  As you can imagine, I am very popular with the strippers.

    I think you will have trouble getting people to play who do not enjoy strategic puzzles.  Some people just don’t think this way (like accountants or mathematicians).

    There are a few phrases that have passed through time to describe this

    a) you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink

    b) buy them book and buy them books, but all they do is eat the covers……

    c) you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear

    d) what we have here is a failure to communicate.  there are some men you just can’t reach…

    some friends are for drinking, others for playing axis and allies.  if you are really lucky, she will enjoy drinking, kick butt at Axis, and want to marry you.  I figure 2 out of the 3 is good enough.

  • I try to figure out if they are into strat games to begin with.  If they are (esp. if they like risk) then we Jump right in.  Some people (my wife), I don’t even try with.  She has watched me play a couple of times but loses intrest quick.  For her its just moving little green army men around a board and rolling dice for 5 or 6 hours.  She dosen’t want to learn and I don’t try to teach her.

  • Same here,

    my fiancee was not interested at all…
    she loves board games in general, but not all of them as i can say.
    i had to play it with my friends instead.

    one day, i got an idea!
    she wanted me to go shopping with her…
    (normally, she calls her mum…)
    i said: “OK, we’ll go shopping IF you want to play 1 hour of axis&allies with me!”
    she thought for a while and said: “and even if the game is not over? i can stop?”
    i replied: “yup!”
    we went shopping  😞
    but the day after: we played axis&allies for 2 hours!
    and remember this: after 1 hour, i asked her: “do you want to do something else?”
    but she said: “no no, i want to see where this is going”

    i have to say: i made my decisions real quick in order to keep things going (even then i was winning)…
    and after playing she said she wants to play it again some day…
    (better once in a life time than never :-P)

  • I just gotta say something here:

    1)  Yes, it takes patience to get into the game; give it a few tries.

    2)  Marshalling cards help ALOT.  I find that you shouldn’t need any at the start of the game but you will as the game goes on.  I’ve had games where EACH power was designated two marshalling cards/tokens.  In Japan’s case, (I was Japan) I used both of mine for big, bad-a$$ fleets.  In one game, we were playing Germany and Russia vs. everyone else, so they ended up having a HUGE amount of combined land forces in Persia.

    3)  The game, as GG put it, does require a large commitment mentally.  I find that I like it that way.  Not to cut your friends down, but I’ve found that the people I like to play with are also people that I can relate to on a mental/intellectual level.

    4)  I really can’t tell you anything to help you with your gaming table and/or pets.  Maybe isolate the animals from the game entirely.  😐

    5)  As far as clutter goes, I’ve found that putting new units down (especially in Europe) sometimes people just can’t hold on to the pieces, they fall, and wipe out a decent cluster of units.  My solution:  Tweezers!  Makes it kinda like playing Operation!  Also, you can basically use the battle board as a reference most of the time…

    I hope I and the rest of these guys helped out, because I would be very disappointed to learn that someone did not like and enjoy this game as much as I do.  😉

  • '10


    but the day after: we played axis&allies for 2 hours!
    and remember this: after 1 hour, i asked her: “do you want to do something else?”
    but she said: “no no, i want to see where this is going”

    Ha ha, good work mate!

    One suggestion I would have for the original poster is have a decent grasp on the rules.  If you can explain the basics to your friends before the game starts, then explain the more intricate details as you come to them during the game, the game will be more fluent.  There’s nothing like checking the rule book every two minute to detract from the fun.

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