Niall Ferguson & Axis and Allies.



  • I just discovered this article by Niall Ferguson, a contemporary British historian of WW2. He discusses the value of war games when learning history and mentions Axis and Allies, calling it:

    “The best of all the war board games, remarkable for the insights it provides into the big strategic questions of the war. Still, oversimplifying in many ways, if not downright misleading”

    The article is here:

    http://nymag.com/news/features/22787/



  • interesting. anyone tried the game he talks about (the calm and the storm)? looks pretty damn good.



  • It’s too slow for being a turn game. The worst is that it gets slower on your turn than on IA’s multiturn. I think stupid 3D graphics has a lot to do.

    It has another great fail: totally and utterly unhistorical. It has almost no events and in most games, Germany and/or USSR attack Poland on mid 1938. Deployment of Spanish Civil War is totally uncorrect, and commie China gets toasted by Nationalists long before japs attack.

    But the worst is the wacky alliances. China and Romania, Poland and China and such. In my last game, USA declared war on UK and allies for no reason (I was Germany, only to see the few events the game has, imagine my face when I saw it…). Defeated USSR trying join axis… and Italy negating, but Japan accepting…  😛

    It also has a lone soundtrack.  😛 And spanish translation “eats” some words in some places. It’s difficult to mod, with a strange file structure.

    The good things:

    • Turn based
    • The military, economic and tech engine are pretty good
    • Semi-decent AI (well, better than HOI, you can still defeat soviets in 1941, but at least it tries make D-Day and invading Japan)

    It’s a shame. This game could be the best, but they make 2 fatal flaws: 3D (slows things) and antihistorical. I played Republican Spain, Nationalist China and Germany and then stopped of play, bored. I think Hearts of Iron 2 is far superior. Now should be about 20 €/$, probably cheaper than Calm and Storm.



  • is HOI 2 also turn based or RTS?



  • RTS, but is map based, not “a guy with a gun-based”. You can pause the game and make all the orders you want, or even slow the time.

    It has plenty of historical events. Has some fails (Republicans always win SCW), and sometimes gets ahistorical, but far less than Calm and Storm. At least i never saw a chinese-romanian alliance, or USA warring against UK  :lol:.

    Last version is Armaggeddon, has an ahistorical USA vs USSR scenario, with AI nukes, some historical minicampaigns, and a phantasy scenario for multiplayer. It has also plenty of mods.

    The best turn-based game I know of WWII is Strategic Command 2: Blitzkrieg. AI is a real challenge in the higher difficult levels (I have still to won with Axis in expert mode), but still is inferior to HOI 2 because you only can control one of the alliances and cannot play as minors as I love  😄



  • Has some fails (Republicans always win SCW)

    Then you’ll have to take the historical example. As Germany you try to seek alliance with nantional spain and then send some real troops for training, thus they should always win. :evil:



  • 90% of times Franco gets german and italian aid, Republicans only get soviet aid, and still Republicans win (even if, ahistorically, Franco gets Madrid or Barcelona at start of the war).  Without modding or playing as Nationalists, I’ve only saw 1 time Franco winning (I played lots and lost of times). This is in HOI2

    Calm and Storm is even worst. Starting is totally screwed, but the worst is Franco’s elite army standing in Morocco while Franco starts with no trannies  :?. All the games, the SCW ends in Morocco, with Republicans doing D-Day there, after defeating the small peninsular army Franco has. (In the real war, Franco’s african army was a mayor factor in the beginnig of war). Again, you have to mod or play with Franco for this win the war.



  • picked up making history the other day (only $25 i couldnt go wrong) and so far I’m really enjoying it.

    you’re right it is quite slow but can be quite fun too. playing through as germany  :evil:

    thought it was quite odd that after hoisting the iron cross over paris all britain did was place an embargo on me  😮



  • First 3-4 games are funny, sure. I enjoyed my games with Republican Spain and China. But then it gets boring.

    Better if you go really quick. UK and soviets are a walk, but USA is really tought of invade. I tried a double attack from conquered Mexico and D-Day against N. York and got defeated because they had gazillions of troops.

    He, those nasty brits letting die France… beware, they can ally with someone wacky… maybe Japan… better if you ally Japan before UK ally them 😄

    Who is allied with China?  Norway allied Soviets again? 😄

    The trick with this game is not expecting normal alliances will happen. It’s a Diplomacy-style game with a glorified military and economic engine.



  • However, this game can be good for multiplayer, especially if you play at least 4 players, because you can backstabb your friends  :-D. But I have heavy issues with playing on-line. A pity it cannot be played by e-mail  😐



  • Apart from the brits leaving the frenchies to the wolves i havnt seen anything to out of the ordinary. i broke the axis with Rome as they invaded albania (no point getting involved with a drowning man  😄 )


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