AA Pacific is the best of the A&A games

  • I’ve now played a significant number of games in each of AA 2nd, AA Revised, AAEurope, AADDAy and AA Pacific and through all of that I have come to the conclusion that AA Pacific is by far the best of the bunch in terms of strategy.  AARevised comes a close second.

    Some of the things I like about AAPacific:

    1.  No Tech!!  No game altering late round heavy bombers or IT.  I can’t even begin to count the number of games I lost that I had clearly in hand when my opponent rolled 3 or 4 tech dice and got the game breaking techs available in 2nd Ed.

    2.  No infinite unit stacking.  Unlike AA 2nd and AAEurope (and to a lesser extent AARevised), big stacks of units never have time to accumulate in AAPacific.  The game last, at most 8 (maybe 9) rounds and is over.  No one gets to build massive stacks of units in that time.

    3.  True naval battles.  In the other games the naval battles are a side show compared to the land battles. In AAPacific, the naval battles are key.

    4.  Substalling.  I know not everyone likes this but it is a fundamental part of the game and creates the most tactical opportunities and challenges.  It makes a great, smart game even better.

    Anyways, I know I must be alone in thinking that AAPacific is the best game, because it’s very difficult to find AAPacific players for PBEM games.


  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I would disagree that Pacific is the “best” game. I would contend it is a bit of apples vs. organes, or Coke vs. Pepsi, Pizza Hut vs. Pappa Johns. I’m not a big fan of needing to label things “the best.” I know my preferences and the reasons for them.

    I am with you in that I enjoy the time limit. I also enjoy the no tech but that is easily fixed by simply playing without it.

    I like the convoy routes aspect. I think this brings the naval battles more up front. Naval battles capture IPCs in the Pacific game.

    I would contend that while the time limit is cool it also can limit the strategic decisions you make. Not a lot of paths to Victory in Pacific.

    I enjoy it as much as any of the other games though.

    Have you used the Abattlemap program for Pacific? I have opened it up but I found it hard to read. I also haven’t compared it to the actual board to verify it is accurate.

  • I guess we will disagree about the not a lot of paths to victory in Pacific.  If you’re Japan, you can play an India Crush, Australia Crush or VP game.  If you do a balanced opening, you can go for an India capture or Australia capture depending on what the Allies does on the first turn.  As Japan, you can look for a major fleet battle on J2 or J3 when the odds still favour you or try to preserve all of your fleet to J6 or J7 and grab territories at the end of the game to get to the VP win.

    If you’re Allies, while always keeping in mind that India and Australia must be protected, you can choose an assault across the Northern Pacific to secure SBR bases on the Marianas or Bonin Island by US5 or UK6.  You can attack across the southern Pacific to take away islands and convoy routes.  You can build bombers with the US and get them to China to team up with Chinese Infantry in dislodging Japan from FIC.  You can go with a heavy submarine buy to corner the Japanese fleet and take away convoy routes and deny Japan VPs.

    The game is varied in its play outs - much more so then A&A 2nd edition or A&A Europe.  I agree that AARevised is a huge improvement on 2nd edition for variety of playouts.

    I have used the AABattlemap program for AAPacific and the set up is correct using the advanced setup as set out in the FAQ from AH - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/faqs/axispacific.  I prefer to use Mapview though.  It’s a much more visually appealing program and you never have to write out your combat or non-combat movement - much simpler.


  • I have played quite a few games of the original A&A, but not as many as I’d like to have played. Not sure if my game is some type of 2nd edition as it’s not nearby. I’ve only recently played Pacific, on my third game all against the same guy who had never played before. He did Japan first and it was over early. I did Japan and won, but there were touchy moments. I’m about to lose as the Allies after making a bad choice. So far I see some decent possibilities for variation in games. Just as in the original version I think that if a few critical battles and/or just different losses go one way or another then the actions by both sides often are forced to change. The reason I like A&A so much is the variation in what happens, so different from Risk which I’ve played tonnes of growing up, but not overly complex that a novice can’t have a good go at it and fun the first game. In all the games of original A&A I’ve played while there has been the natural similarities one gets with playing on the same board with the same victory conditions, I can honestly say I’ve never played a game that was the same as another. Always something different happened to make that game a little special. I hope Pacific works out that way, and I can see that happening, especially with more than one enemy player. So far I’m enjoying it.

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