AA50 Game Play Review



  • Last night I had a chance to play the new AA50 with four of my regular board gaming friends.  All these guys are very competent gamers – over 40, been playing all sorts of board games for years and two of them plus myself have been playing all the AA variants going back as far as original from the 80’s.  However, we do have one younger chap (19 yrs.) with us and he’s still trying to figure it out.

    The new AA50 game was met with great applause.  Here’s what we found:

    •The National Objectives are the center piece to any strategy. All the previous game reviews that didn’t include them should be ignored.  They really change the game play.  This addition was well liked by everyone.

    •The new tech tree and system is well founded and fun – nothing was a game breaker; it’s just too random to make a strategy out of “getting” the right tech.  In our game the Japanese did get Jet Fighters, allowing fighters to attack on 4s, and that made Japan very powerful – but there was no way for Japan to plan on that happening I would call getting a favorable tech, luck rather than strategy.

    •The new rules on strategic bombing are great.  Once the Allies were able to reduce Italian production to nothing!  That was fun. I was playing on the Allied side.

    •The Italians are more powerful than you might think.  In last nights game they retook France at least 3 time for the Germans and took Stalingrad twice.  Eventually they were overrun but not until late in the game.

    •I really like the new rules on transports having 0/0.  This just simply makes the game better.

    In our game Moscow fell in the same turn as Berlin.  The Americans tried to contest the Japanese, but were not very effective, eventually settling on a Germany first strategy – but to the Allies folly that left a much too powerful Japan and in the end Russia, which was doing well against German, couldn’t contain a two front war.  The Japanese were gaining up to 15 extra IPCs a turn and out building America – The Americans should have never abandoned the Pacific, it was a huge strategic error.

    After one game it’s hard to say if there were any glaring imbalances.  We started with the 1941 set up and 6 hours later we were minus, Russia, Germany and Italy and still had no clear winner.  We considered it a draw.  All in all it seems like this version of Axis & Allies is winner – I’m already looking forward to next week’s game.



  • What about China? Did they got totally killed after Japan 1 or Japan graciously ignore them? I assume at least the fighter was killed



  • @Funcioneta:

    What about China? Did they got totally killed after Japan 1 or Japan graciously ignore them? I assume at least the fighter was killed

    Good question - China was a major problem for Japan, they couldn’t igone them so it took Japan a few turns to build up on the mainland before attacking in mass in China in into Russia.  China at one point even took Shanghi and liberated Hong Kong for the UK, I think on turn 2 or 3.  By turns 7 or 8 they were on the ropes but the fighter was the last Chinese piece to die.  It was easy for China to protect it.  Also it was difficult for Japan to attack India, as the only suitable mainland facotry site was up in Manchuria, and there is a whole lota China in the way.  Burma also proved to be a good buffer for the UK.  In the end China was completely overrun but I think that was do to the lack of American intervetion in the Pacific.  China is weak but it isn’t a push over



  • The Italians retook France from Germany 3 times?

    Which rule allowed that?  :?



  • @Marquis:

    @Funcioneta:

    What about China? Did they got totally killed after Japan 1 or Japan graciously ignore them? I assume at least the fighter was killed

    Good question - China was a major problem for Japan, they couldn’t igone them so it took Japan a few turns to build up on the mainland before attacking in mass in China in into Russia.  China at one point even took Shanghi and liberated Hong Kong for the UK, I think on turn 2 or 3.  By turns 7 or 8 they were on the ropes but the fighter was the last Chinese piece to die.  It was easy for China to protect it.  Also it was difficult for Japan to attack India, as the only suitable mainland facotry site was up in Manchuria, and there is a whole lota China in the way.  Burma also proved to be a good buffer for the UK.  In the end China was completely overrun but I think that was do to the lack of American intervetion in the Pacific.  China is weak but it isn’t a push over

    So, China was ignored first round? Or you were playing 1942 scenario? Still, I think Japan can kill the chinese fighter first round even in 1942, so maybe you decided there was a better thing to do in another place, true?



  • @Constantinople:

    The Italians retook France from Germany 3 times?

    Which rule allowed that?  :?

    Ooops how’d that little M get in there - retook France FOR Germany, FOR Germany… ya that’s what I meant.



  • @Funcioneta:

    What about China? Did they got totally killed after Japan 1 or Japan graciously ignore them? I assume at least the fighter was killed

    So, China was ignored first round? Or you were playing 1942 scenario? Still, I think Japan can kill the chinese fighter first round even in 1942, so maybe you decided there was a better thing to do in another place, true?

    No we played 1941 - The Japanese didn’t want to put up 3 infantry vs. 1 infantry and a fighter, after that the Chinese were careful to keep it out of harms way and if I recall correctly the Japanese might have attacked and taken 1 province in China on the first turn.



  • So… the game involved the Allies piling onto Berlin as Japan captured Moscow?  Where have I seen this before  😞



  • Well he’s saying that that same old game has the potential to be avoided because the US should focus a bit on the Pacific.  In revised, splitting your forces was almost always bad for the allies, but in this game splitting your forces is necessary to avoid an all too powerful Japan.



  • @Marquis:

    Last night I had a chance to play the new AA50 with four of my regular board gaming friends.  All these guys are very competent gamers – over 40, been playing all sorts of board games for years and two of them plus myself have been playing all the AA variants going back as far as original from the 80’s.  However, we do have one younger chap (19 yrs.) with us and he’s still trying to figure it out.

    The new AA50 game was met with great applause.  Here’s what we found:

    •The National Objectives are the center piece to any strategy. All the previous game reviews that didn’t include them should be ignored.  They really change the game play.  This addition was well liked by everyone.

    •The new tech tree and system is well founded and fun – nothing was a game breaker; it’s just too random to make a strategy out of “getting” the right tech.  In our game the Japanese did get Jet Fighters, allowing fighters to attack on 4s, and that made Japan very powerful – but there was no way for Japan to plan on that happening I would call getting a favorable tech, luck rather than strategy.

    It is my understanding that the Nat Obj and Tech are optional.

    I take it you are going to always play with these options on (at least for the time being……)??



  • @axis_roll:

    @Marquis:

    Last night I had a chance to play the new AA50 with four of my regular board gaming friends.  All these guys are very competent gamers – over 40, been playing all sorts of board games for years and two of them plus myself have been playing all the AA variants going back as far as original from the 80’s.  However, we do have one younger chap (19 yrs.) with us and he’s still trying to figure it out.

    The new AA50 game was met with great applause.  Here’s what we found:

    •The National Objectives are the center piece to any strategy. All the previous game reviews that didn’t include them should be ignored.  They really change the game play.  This addition was well liked by everyone.

    •The new tech tree and system is well founded and fun – nothing was a game breaker; it’s just too random to make a strategy out of “getting” the right tech.  In our game the Japanese did get Jet Fighters, allowing fighters to attack on 4s, and that made Japan very powerful – but there was no way for Japan to plan on that happening I would call getting a favorable tech, luck rather than strategy.

    It is my understanding that the Nat Obj and Tech are optional.

    I take it you are going to always play with these options on (at least for the time being……)??

    I believe that National Objectives are NOT optional.  Not positive though.  Technology is, however.



  • @Rakeman:

    @axis_roll:

    @Marquis:

    Last night I had a chance to play the new AA50 with four of my regular board gaming friends.  All these guys are very competent gamers – over 40, been playing all sorts of board games for years and two of them plus myself have been playing all the AA variants going back as far as original from the 80’s.  However, we do have one younger chap (19 yrs.) with us and he’s still trying to figure it out.

    The new AA50 game was met with great applause.  Here’s what we found:

    •The National Objectives are the center piece to any strategy. All the previous game reviews that didn’t include them should be ignored.  They really change the game play.  This addition was well liked by everyone.

    •The new tech tree and system is well founded and fun – nothing was a game breaker; it’s just too random to make a strategy out of “getting” the right tech.  In our game the Japanese did get Jet Fighters, allowing fighters to attack on 4s, and that made Japan very powerful – but there was no way for Japan to plan on that happening I would call getting a favorable tech, luck rather than strategy.

    It is my understanding that the Nat Obj and Tech are optional.

    I take it you are going to always play with these options on (at least for the time being……)??

    I believe that National Objectives are NOT optional.  Not positive though.  Technology is, however.

    not sure, I thought the Nat Objectives are optional:  Read this:
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=12287.msg345954#msg345954


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

    they are optional as well as tech . that’s a fact



  • @Craig:

    Tech and NOs are both optional rules, but the NOs shouldn’t be.

    They make the game.

    As for the Chinese fighter in the '41 scenario, he could have brought at least one Japanese fighter along with his three infantry.  But it is all about choices.  Maybe he felt that the fighter was needed elsewhere.

    Craig

    I didn’t know that the National Objectives were optional and while I could have once known the tech was optional I’m sure everyone would have wanted to play with it anyway.

    The National Objectives are such a compelling part of the game that I wouldn’t want to play without them.  In my opinion, then make this game much more interesting.

    As for the Japanese opening strategy I can’t completely coment as I wasn’t playing Japan.  I do know that the guy that was playing Japan was a bit concerned about making more than his starting 17 IPCs, so he went out hard for an IPC grab and I guess that didn’t include trying to take out the Chinese fighter.



  • Wow!

    It’s a completely different game – especially for Germany.  We set up a game and went through one round to see what it felt like.  Those objects are phenomenal.  You need to be well versed in not only yours, but trying to deny the enemy his.

    I normally play a pretty mean Germany, but I broke my teeth trying some of my normal openings.  Not sure if it was the dice or not, but by the end of the first round I was feeling pretty nervous.

    The Allies have a lot of cash to buy lots of fun toys with.  Germany can’t combine the two fleets anymore and give the Allies a run for the Atlantic – and on top of that, transports are worthless in sea battles.  Going to have to go back to the drawing boards.

    I didn’t see that huge Axis advantage in my first game, but the jury is still out.  Looks to be a good fight!

    Great stuff!  Can’t wait to hear more reports from the field.



  • Played my first game Wednesday. We played the '41 scenerio. What a blast! This game is great and the best of the A&A line. We had 4 players for our game. I played the Allies and the other 3 the Axis. The two more competent players played Germany and Japan the newer guy played Italy. In the Pacific it was very hard to match the IJN but in the end the Japs lost most of their fleet in a puric victory against the US. I was able to contain Japan from penetrating to far into China or USSR. Double factory build on UK 1 and I was able to stop any invasion of Australia and build a massive army up in India that destroyed the Japs. In the ETO the Russian Campaign was mostly a stalemate while the UK and US whipped the Africa Korps in North Africa. Italy’s fleet was sent to the deep and the bombing of Rome and Berlin commenced. The Allies finaly invaded into France which repulsed an Italian counter attack. The Germans could have probably defeated the Allies in France the next round but after this the Axis gave up the ghost.

    I loved the new rules for bombardment! Your men get to fire back before they die so it is not so insanely powerful. The new rules for transports is much improved. The National Objectives are really fun and challenging. Trying to accomplish all of yours and stopping your opponents from getting theirs adds so much to the game. Now you have other tasks to accomplish! I was the only one to try for tech and I failed! The system is improved though. The components to the game are impressive. The thing that needs more work is the Battle of the Atlantic. Well done in AAE but, nearly an impossibility in AA50.



  • Could someone verify this please,

    @Admiral_Thrawn:

    I loved the new rules for bombardment! Your men get to fire back before they die so it is not so insanely powerful.

    I haven’t heard about this rule change.  I heard about the 1-for-1 rule change, where you may only fire shore bombardment my matching them on a 1-for-1 basis with the attacking troops, which I agree with, but this other change really weakens shore bombardment by taking away the preemptive shot.



  • The units that are hit from bombardment get fire before they die. In my opinon bombardment has always been too powerful and made even more powerful in AA50 because Cruisers have it in place of the destroyers who didn’t.



  • @Admiral_Thrawn:

    The units that are hit from bombardment get fire before they die. In my opinon bombardment has always been too powerful and made even more powerful in AA50 because Cruisers have it in place of the destroyers who didn’t.

    You could always restrict it to the smaller islands in the Pacific.  I am giving thought to that.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    Marquis, I’m going to post your review to the main site.



  • @Admiral_Thrawn:

    Played my first game Wednesday. We played the '41 scenerio. What a blast! This game is great and the best of the A&A line. We had 4 players for our game. I played the Allies and the other 3 the Axis. The two more competent players played Germany and Japan the newer guy played Italy. In the Pacific it was very hard to match the IJN but in the end the Japs lost most of their fleet in a puric victory against the US. I was able to contain Japan from penetrating to far into China or USSR. Double factory build on UK 1 and I was able to stop any invasion of Australia and build a massive army up in India that destroyed the Japs. In the ETO the Russian Campaign was mostly a stalemate while the UK and US whipped the Africa Korps in North Africa. Italy’s fleet was sent to the deep and the bombing of Rome and Berlin commenced. The Allies finaly invaded into France which repulsed an Italian counter attack. The Germans could have probably defeated the Allies in France the next round but after this the Axis gave up the ghost.

    I loved the new rules for bombardment! Your men get to fire back before they die so it is not so insanely powerful. The new rules for transports is much improved. The National Objectives are really fun and challenging. Trying to accomplish all of yours and stopping your opponents from getting theirs adds so much to the game. Now you have other tasks to accomplish! I was the only one to try for tech and I failed! The system is improved though. The components to the game are impressive. The thing that needs more work is the Battle of the Atlantic. Well done in AAE but, nearly an impossibility in AA50.

    So you managed a two IC build for the UK on turn one.  Did you put them in India and Australia?  I assume that the Japanese player was concentrating on the US.  How did China work for you as well?



  • Yes, I built a factory in India and Australia. The Japs went for Australia first but I was able to delay them with two of my destroyers so that Aussies could build two infantry before they could get there. Added to the already 3 you have plus the artillery, the AA gun, and an American fighter and bomber that landed there. Since he was after the Aussies this gave time for the Indian Factory to build 3 Armor plus the 3 infantry, 1 Artillery, and AA gun that are already there. I was going to send my South African troops to help in Egypt but, by this time the Axis was already losing in North Africa and I sent them to India. I considered building a factory in Canada to avoid the German Air power when I built 1 or two ships near the UK when my fleet was in the Med. In the end I didn’t but it would have been nice to have. There should be the ability to build in all of these areas from the beginning. Looking at the '42 scenerio it looks very hard to build a factory in India without losing it right away.


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