Don Rae's Essays: edited for readability

  • The following link contains an edited and much easier to read version of all the Don Rae Essays.

    It’s been roughly twenty years since the release of the “Don Rae Essays”. These documents, still freely available for download on the web, are best known for presenting and/or confirming the argument that Milton Bradley’s version of Axis and Allies is imbalanced in favor of the Allies. They have since become a part of Axis and Allies lore and are the origin of game terminology such as “shucking”, the “strafe attack”, and the “dead zone” among others. Given the legacy of these documents, I felt it interesting, if not prudent, to revisit this work and see if it could use an update for the year 2020.

    What follows is a compilation of all the essays for which I have acted as editor. The original was (still is) filled with grammatical and punctuation errors, wordy and imprecise sentences, and braggadocios smugness that detracts from the overall messaging. Some of the examples and recommendations clearly lacked the use of proper battle calculation (use of a battle calculator). The game economy is largely ignored and referred to only in the abstract. The use and implementation of optional rules outside of the Restricted Attack (“Russia Restricted”) are not mentioned at all. The same is true for Technology rolls. Finally, in my opinion, the most fatal flaw was that the essays left no room for growth. In other words, these essays are presented as containing ALL the answers to your Axis and Allies questions.

    Despite this, and though I cannot endorse these essays, they do contain concepts that are invaluable to understanding Axis and Allies game mechanics, especially for newer players. In this regard, I recommend essay #4 and #5. The strafe attack and more importantly, the dead zone have been thoroughly and well explained here. Additionally, though not the only (or in my opinion, ideal) first-turn strategies on offer, these essays contain a starting game plan for each individual power. For these reasons and their legacy, I have worked diligently to make the “Don Rae Essays” more presentable and easier to read.

    Who am I, you might ask, to be worthy of such a task? To begin with, I am a huge fan of the Milton Bradley version of Axis and Allies. I am so much a fan that I began a YouTube channel that tries carefully to presents tactics, strategies, and game concepts learned over the course of many games with many different opponents. Many of these games are a matter of public record and are visible on the forums. Finally, I am a published author and have applied all my experience regarding professional editing that I can offer to this essay.

    As a disclaimer, I have corrected all misspellings and punctuation errors. Overly wordy sentences were trimmed down for ease of reading. All pompous and egotist comments have been removed. All font sizes have been standardized. Finally, all editorial commentary is clearly discernible in blue italics. My interventions in this way were done sparingly and only when the matter being discussed was erroneous or misleading. What’s left should be a MUCH smoother read of the concepts and strategies of the “Don Rae Essays”.


    YouTube: The Good Captain

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