• Our group of 6 played their first game of AA50 today, playing the '41 scenario.  This group has been together for 20+ years and have played every type of game you can imagine, including all the other A&As. With 6 people we had 1 person playing each nation.  It took us about 9 hours to complete the game, with only one player having read the rules, eating while playing, and taking our time due to rule reading and trying not to make mistakes. In short, the Axis were struggling the entire game, giving up after turn 7 or 8. Here’s a general flow of our game.

    The UK discovered Heavy Bombers on turn 1 and the USA discovered Improved Shipyards on turn 1 or 2.  Needless to say, the Axis were being pummeled by Hvy English bombers for the rest of the game. Italy pretty much was put out of the game on turn 2, losing it’s entire navy to Heavy Bombers and having it’s only industrial complex bombed into the dark ages every turn. Italy never got going in Africa.  America and Japan had a back and forth battle in the pacific for the first 3-4 turns, while the USSR kept pressure on Germany while the UK bombed Germany into submission throughout the game.  The Axis did make it semi-competitive with a sneaky take over of Moscow, but it only prolonged the game as it looked as though they may come back.  With Japan fighting a 3 front war vs USA/China/USSR they never were able to eject China, couldn’t compete with USA’s early Improved Shipyards (Japan got Improved Shipyards late in the game), and couldn’t put enough pressure on the USSR to keep them from running over Germany.

    Overall, we had a good time, but spent a lot of time going over the rulebook and coming across situations not covered in the rulebook.  Thankfully, we found answers on these boards from Krieghund. Even with these clarifications, we weren’t all too happy with the holes in the rulebook. Some Pros and Cons of AA50, after 1 game:


    • Large map allows for easier unit placement

    • 6 nations makes the game seem more even

    • Game seems more balanced

    • The National Objectives resulted in battles for territories all over the map

    • The new Research Token rule is better than previous tech rules

    • Reduced naval costs keep the sea battles going

    • New sub rules are much better than all previous editions

    • Cruisers are a great addition, filling in the much needed gap between the DD and BB

    • Gamepiece holders are very nice, with covers so units don’t fly all over

    • China, while adding lots of clumsy rules and units too close in color to USA, are a nice play balance addition


    • 3 separated map section is a royal pain, but can be cured with connectors. It still should have been one folded piece

    • While new map looks nice, the natural terrain look makes it much harder to tell who owned territories at start of game, making calculating income on the fly VERY painful

    • Rulebook wasn’t playtested (read upon completion) enough. We couldn’t believe the things that were missing or unclear

    • Early techs can still throw the entire game into a lopsided, unrecoverable mess if one side gets 1 or more and the other side doesn’t (Heavy Bombers still seem too strong).

    • Random and luck-based tech rules can throw an otherwise tactical and strategic game into a lucky die fest

    • Italy and Russian units are almost identical in color, to the point where you literally can’t tell them apart.

    • Italy is pretty pathetic and probably not worth assigning one player to play

    • Too expensive for what you get and slightly new rules and pieces

  • yeah its got some warts but I like the game so far. It seems that playing with techs and the NOs will make for longer games,as having the extra money allows more units on the map and more tech rolls. Even Russia has money to buy at least one Research token! 😛

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Italy is not a paper tiger. Use them to open new wounds for the Soviet player and then cover Germany that finished them off with fighter protection. Forget Africa unless UK leaves Egypt or makes it easy to take.

    Black sea is the key for Italy as well as shuck from Italy/Balkans

  • Official Q&A

    Good report, P-Unit!  I’m glad you’re enjoying the game.

    It seems that most of your cons involve either physical components or tech.  I’ll pass your reactions on to the proper authorities.  The tech rules are optional, so of course you can play without them.  As far as any ambiguities in the rules that haven’t been covered on the forums yet, please share them and I’ll see that they get into the upcoming FAQ.

  • Interesting. In our first game, Italy had no problem whatsoever taking over all of Africa for a while and also relieving Germany of French garrison duty. They were making 20-25 IPCs per turn for a while which really helped them out. Short of investing in an IC in Africa I dont see how the UK really holds onto Africa if the Axis are commited to taking it. The Axis can easily reinforce while Britain cannot.

    In any case, yes, it sounds like a few lucky tech rolls ended that game before it got started. Considering the time investment for a full game, I’m leaning away from using the tech - too game changing and based far too much on luck.

  • I have found it’s still very difficult for Germany to survive if Russia, Britain and USA team up.

    The primary reason for this is the difficulty in sustaining a German navy.  Even at 6 IPC each, subs are expensive when you need to buy tanks and fighters every round.

    That being said, I won my first game playing the Axis.  I was aided by my opponent’s poor play as he ignored Japan.  My Japanese units conquered Western USA, Central USA, Mexico, Western and Eastern Canada and it was over.

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