How A&A corresponds to WWII history



  • Wikipedia writes:

    Axis & Allies is not a strict historical wargame, due to its streamlining for ease of play and balancing so that both sides have a chance. For instance, the economic model is simplistic, with each territory producing a number of “IPCs” (Industrial Production Certificates) good toward the purchase of any unit. Moreover, the game is supposed to start in the spring of 1942, but Japan is immediately in position to attack Hawaii again, while Germany is pressed well into the USSR with an initially superior force. Another significant difference is that the Soviet Union and Japan are opponents at the start of the game; historically, they did not go to war with each other until 1945.

    Well, actually I do not agree entirely to wikipedia’s conclusions. I would not call a time span of three months “immediately”, concerning Japan’s ability to strike at Pearl Harbour. I firmly believe they could actually have made a new strike at Pearl Harbour instead of moving the Imperial Fleet from Java Sea to the Bengal which they did March 1942.

    I must also point out that the Soviet union and Japan actually went to war (undeclared - but who cares) against each other already in 1939. The Japanese were however so heavily defeated in the great battle of Khalkhin Gol, that they would never again have the guts to
    attack the Russians.Â

    I would like to hear what A&A players have to say on this topic. How A&A Classic or A&A Revised corresponds to WWII history or how it does not.

    I believe Mr.Harris once stated - in a thread he started on this website, as I remember  - that all moves in a round should be understood as synchronized. But he didn’t mention how much time in history each A&A round represents. What do the players think of this?

    I would also like to discuss how much force the different units represents. Furthermore any other comments related to this topic will be very welcome. Let us hear your suggestions, thanx.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Harris made everything to have balance and those ‘values’ have very marginal relationship to real economic capabilities. The allies should have a 2 to 1 advantage in IPC, but of course that would inbalance the game unless you made some method where the conversion of this money could be impacting the game in any significant way. The Soviets are way too low in IPC as they were twice as strong as Japan, while USA is too weak.



  • yeah and tanks were never a big part of japanese statergy. maybe thats why japan never really attacked russia. no tanks no drive to moscow.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Japan learned from 1939 and figured it was too expensive to attack the Soviets and for what rewards? attacking the Soviets was like attacking another huge country like China, except no resources would benifit them. Also, why would they be helping Germany win the war? Hitler told them that the war was over in October 1941 and thats another reason why they went after USA.



  • Here is my suggestions regarding unit strength, rounds etc. in A&A classic.

    A&A Rounds:

    1 round  = 4 month (calculated on how fast you can take Germany (9-10 rounds?) if they loose the battle in Egypt and are locked in a stalemate in Russia right from the start.

    A&A Units:

    1 inf = 1 division (18000 soldiers?) + maybe non compat troops like signals, logistics, a.o. (Indicated symbolicly by the territory colour?)
    1 tank = 1 tank division (250 tanks? - 14000 soldiers?) + non combat (calculated comparing with the size of real life Afrika Korps)
    1 AA gun = 500 real life AAguns.
    1 transport = 100-300 larger and smaller vessels (including armed merchant cruisers)
    1 submarine = 80 submarines (based on comparing with German/Italian active submarine forces early 1942 (160?)
    1 fighter = 1200 fighter planes (compared with british fighter strenth 1942 (2400?)
    1 bomber = 1000 heavy bombers (uk strength early 1942)
    1 carrier = 7-9 fleet carriers + support (approx. Japan=8, US=7, UK=7, - early 1942)
    1 battleship = 6-10 battleships + approx. 20 cruisers ?
    1 factory = lots of heavy industry
    Neutral country (3 ipc) = garrison (up to 20.000 active elite troops)
    Occupied but empty territory = garrison (?soldiers)

    Ipc value of German sized army units:

    Division = 3-5 ipc
    Army Corps = 18-23 ipc
    Field army = 30-60 ipc (can include a fighter)

    Now, what do you guys think, does this sound realistic and reasonable ?  🙂


  • 2007 AAR League

    indeed, i always laugh as i attack moscow with so many jap tanks.  doesnt seem to be the case.  also, yeah germany and russia should be more even.  englands importance should be more minimal.  maybe them only fighting worthwhile in africa.



  • Hey balungaloaf, what about my suggestions regarding unit strength, rounds etc. in A&A classic. what do you think about this - is it unrealistic?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    1 inf = 3-5 corps or 1 army
    1 tank = 1 tank corps
    1 AA gun = built in gun emplacements and batterys built around industrial complex and cities
    1 transport = 100 merchant ships only no combat ships
    1 submarine = 40 subs
    1 fighter = 2,000 planes
    1 bomber = 1,000 bombers
    1 carrier = 4 carriers
    1 battleship = 4 Battleships
    1 destroyer= 20 destroyers
    1 artillery= light armor/ mechanized infantry  1 corps
    1 factory = lots of heavy industry
    Neutral country (3 ipc) = garrison (up to 20.000 active elite troops)



  • If we start going into historical accuracy, we would have to make disparate units (e.g. German tanks hit at 4, Russian at 3, Japanese at 2).


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Imperious:

    1 inf = 3-5 corps or 1 army
    1 tank = 1 tank corps
    1 AA gun = built in gun emplacements and batterys built around industrial complex and cities
    1 transport = 100 merchant ships only no combat ships
    1 submarine = 40 subs
    1 fighter = 2,000 planes
    1 bomber = 1,000 bombers
    1 carrier = 4 carriers
    1 battleship = 4 Battleships
    1 destroyer= 20 destroyers
    1 artillery= light armor/ mechanized infantry  1 corps
    1 factory = lots of heavy industry
    Neutral country (3 ipc) = garrison (up to 20.000 active elite troops)

    2,000 Planes on 4 Carriers?!


  • 2019 Moderator

    Actualy it would be 4,000, but the size model isn’t based on naval aviation.  I think IL is closer.  An infantry has to be at least corp level.  Look at the number of divisions in Germany in 1942.  In the game the total Number of German infantry is 15, that dosn’t account for Romanian, Hungarian, Finnish etc.  When in fact there were probably, I’m not going to check right now, 45 Infantry Divisions in eastern Europe in the Spring of '42.

    Maybe someon eshould do the resurch and create new setups with acuratre division counts…



  • Imperious leader:
    1 inf = 3-5 corps or 1 army
    1 tank = 1 tank corps
    1 AA gun = built in gun emplacements and batterys built around industrial complex and cities
    1 transport = 100 merchant ships only no combat ships
    1 submarine = 40 subs
    1 fighter = 2,000 planes
    1 bomber = 1,000 bombers
    1 carrier = 4 carriers
    1 battleship = 4 Battleships
    1 destroyer= 20 destroyers
    1 artillery= light armor/ mechanized infantry  1 corps
    1 factory = lots of heavy industry
    Neutral country (3 ipc) = garrison (up to 20.000 active elite troops)

    This is obviously for A&A revised (indicated by the destroyers) But, wow. 1 inf = 1 army? This may be true for the German east front, but I personally don’t think it would be as much realistic when you look at other war fronts and theatres.

    Well, It’s great to find agreement that the 3 ipc price for neutral countries, could be viewed as representing a rather small defence force.  😄

    dezrtfish:

    An infantry has to be at least corp level.  Look at the number of divisions in Germany in 1942.

    Yeah, but maybe the actual inf could then be understood as the front division of a corp (still representing a corps)? This would also mean that the the loss of 1 inf wouldn’t be the loss of an entire corps. Anyway I believe it’s fair to say it all depends on where on the map we base our calculations. Take for example the Islands of the pacific: A full army corps (80.000-140.000 soldiers?) on the tiny Midway Island does not sound very realistic to me.  😄

    However: Your 1inf=1corps suggestion sounds very realistic concerning for example the british forces in North Africa (2 inf), that at spring 1942 was not yet army sized (later became the eight army). But looking at the German Afrika Corps, it seems to consist of 1 tank & 2inf. But yes, maybe the 2 inf represents the italians and the Vichy french.  🙂

    But, thanx guys for sharing your thougts on this matter.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Colonel:


    I believe Mr.Harris once stated - in a thread he started on this website, as I remember  - that all moves in a round should be understood as synchronized.

    “Col Cool”, how long have you been on this site?

    Did you have a previous alias?

    If so, why have you chosen to start a new name?



  • If we start going into historical accuracy, we would have to make disparate units (e.g. German tanks hit at 4, Russian at 3, Japanese at 2).

    Sure, I agree that changes like these would be necessary (allthough i disagre that German tanks was better than the Russian tanks. The russian tanks (like KV-2 and T-34) was the best in the world in 1942 IMHO).

    But I think maybe the range of fighters should be changed from 4 to 3 movements, as the typical range of fighters was max. 500 miles (max 800 miles with droptanks). At the Battle of England German fighters could cross the channel but not the North Sea (except Me-110).



  • “Col Cool”, how long have you been on this site?

    Did you have a previous alias?

    If so, why have you chosen to start a new name?

    Ive played A&A for many years with a large group of friends. Therefore I have also been aware of this website for a few years, and once in a while I have frequenced this webpage reading threads and articles. But I have always done this as a guest only. I have never before been a member with alias.  🙂



  • @Colonel:

    But I think maybe the range of fighters should be changed from 6 to 5 movements, as the typical range of fighters was max. 500 miles (max 800 miles with droptanks). At the Battle of England German fighters could cross the channel but not the North Sea (except Me-110).

    yeah but i think planes shouldn’t have to spend movement points when they cross into thier own terrtories.



  • But I think maybe the range of fighters should be changed from 6 to 5 movements, as the typical range of fighters was max. 500 miles (max 800 miles with droptanks). At the Battle of England German fighters could cross the channel but not the North Sea (except Me-110).

    Ha, ha ha, Did I really say that? I meant of course “from 4 to 3 movements”!  allow me to re-edit that, 😄

    yeah but i think planes shouldn’t have to spend movement points when they cross into thier own terrtories.

    How so? would they turn off the engines and glide?



  • Since a “turn” refers to 3-4 months of time, crossign your own territory would allow for refueling along the way, and actual “combat” movement would begin when you moved into enemy territory, or over water.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    2,000 Planes on 4 Carriers?!

    Thats one of the major problems i have with the game and the need that carriers should have seperate ‘naval fighters’ or some built in planes that cannot be allocated to land battles. Those carriers are of a completely different scale than land based aircraft.

    Each Infantry has to be a army. Germany had about 15 armies in 1942.



  • ncscswitch:

    Since a “turn” refers to 3-4 months of time, crossign your own territory would allow for refueling along the way, and actual “combat” movement would begin when you moved into enemy territory, or over water.

    Yeah, if we agree to Harris’ “syncronized” theory, that’s an acceptable point of view, I think.

    Imperious Leader:

    Each Infantry has to be a army. Germany had about 15 armies in 1942.

    It does not sound very realistic to me that Germany can put up 10 new armies every turn (every four months?) Also, this would mean that Germany could attack egypt with 4 armies + pz corps (1.0- 1.5 million soldiers?) in spring 1942.

    ….and there should be 250.000 - 300.000 soldiers on Midway island? - nah…  🙂

    Then I would rather count the total ipc value on German units and then divide with 15.
    A German field army= 258/15 = 17 ipc

    Germany’s initially only got 11 ipc of units in Africa, (Africa corps - not entirely a field army) so this makes more sense to me.

    Since Germany in first turn can attack Russia with 139 ipc of units, this would still be a strong offensive with more than 8 field armies.

    Example: A possible attack on Caucasus on G1 with 3 tanks, 3inf, 3fig (60 ipc) could thus represent an army group (Army Group South) consisting of 3 field armies + smaller panzer armies, (The 4th Army, the 6th Army, 17th Army + 1st Panzer Army and 4th Panzer Army)


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The different units represent different scales. Infantry would represent 3-5 corps which could be considered an army and Armor is a smaller scale of a corps (3-6 divisions of tanks) The tanks have alot more impact than infantry armies. I see that germany had 160 divisions  and out of this 20 were panzer/ motorized in 1941. They were organized in 14 field armies. If you take 140 and divide by 3 to get corps and again by 3 to get armies you get 15.5 which the game has 15 infantry on that front ( as pointed out by another poster). If you take the 20 armor and divide by 3 to get corps, you got about 7 units ( 7 corps of armor) and revised has 6 in range of soviet territories plus 2 artillery which makes 8 and thats close enough for this type of comparison.

    On Midway that one infantry is not:

    and there should be 250.000 - 350.000 soldiers on Midway island? - nah

    an army would be made up of 15 divisions ( with 10,000 men each so thats 150,000 but its still to high and some units are just not gonna fit really any consistent system because the game was not designed that way. It was a balanced idea on deployment rather than historical.

    Germany’s initially only got 11 ipc of units in Africa, (Africa corps - not entirely a field army)

    These forces also represent the bulk of the italian army. The tank alone would represent both the DAK and probably some italian armor units



  • Probably the only way to get a truly accurate count between R/L and A&AR (or A&A if you prefer) is to have a seperate count for each power and average it out.

    If you wanted to make the counts accurate to R/L you’d have to alter the unit numbers and placement to make it true to life and add “Realism” rules. Eg. Aircraft, Armor, Inf, and Art. can only move one space during a turn (to account for the vast stretches of land on the map). And it’d go without saying that you’d need a minimum number of infantry pieces per territory to act as a “garrison” or suffer a penalty of income from that territory. This would add a whole new aspect of logistics to the game.

    And you’d have to have seperate “Theatre Rules” for the Pacific and for the European theatres such as the chanelkampf (Channel Battles) during the battle of Britain and to account for the limited flight distance of German aircraft compared to the British advantage of being over home-ground (maybe only 1 round of German fighters over England, with 2 rounds for all powers’ bombers? or a reduced German aircraft attack while over England?).

    You’d also have to take into account that the Japanese aircraft could travel much farther (and were cheaper to produce) than American aircraft, but they were’nt as hard-hitting nor hardy as U.S. naval/land based aircraft.

    In short, you’d have to literally re-write the movement, engagement, income, and territory capture rules from the ground up and work with the map that’s already in place. Additionally, you’d also have to figure out the “theatre rules” according to the specific theatre (especially in regards to Japan as they depended almost solely on airpower and infantry for keeping their territory, with their navy to back it up).

    This actually sounds like a fun project to do (especially since I suck at playing A&A and I have the spare time I could devote to it).



  • It would be neat to have a more realistic setup and income level for the game. Maybe it would be too steep of a climb for the Axis to defeat the Allies but, if you did it would be that much more glorious! I have been trying to find the different powers approximate strengths in all the theaters but it is kind of difficult. I think you would have to put some kind of restraint on the amount of troops you could raise. Of course Russia and Germany raised millions of troops but, there is always a limit to your army. Germany should actually start off with most of there forces because wasn’t 1941-42 the peek for the German army?  Also what do you think the difference in representation of the amount troops a piece represents from Revised to Europe and Pacific would be? Has Larry every said what a infantry piece is suppose to represent?



  • Has Larry every said what a infantry piece is suppose to represent?

    I think he said corp once. but i not that sure.


  • 2007 AAR League

    The other part of this is to realize that supplying armies is not exclusively about numbers of men.  War fighting materials are as much a part of the problem as finding grunts to carry the rifles.

    To presume that the armies raised at new bodies is to ignore the actual practice of pulling combat units back for resupply and reconstitution.  Yes, replacements for casualties were part of that practice but new equipment was as much a part of the industrial complex problem as finding more men.

    We should not assume that a “destroyed” army is actually representing 100,000’s of men dead.  It more accurately is the destruction of war materials and disruption of the organization that is what most quickly removed combat units from the front line.  2% to 3% causualties were enough to get most combat units looking for R&R.  10% casualties would be enough to make most units static and unable to do much more than hold ground.  Casualty rates higher than that would generally be the end of the unit but the “elements” of the unit would still be individually functioning and could often be pulled back together in R&R to rebuild the unit.

    This is, in my opinion, where those IPCs ar going.


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