Plastic Playing Pieces



  • By far the loudest complaint I’ve heard about A&A:50 is the quality – or lack thereof – of the plastic playing pieces.

    A&A:50 was seen by many of us as the Definitive version of Axis and Allies.  We had waited our lives for this game, and with Larry Harris behind the helm, we expected Avalon Hill to deliver.  However, when many of you received your shrinkwrapped packages, you were quickly disappointed by the shoddy quality of the unit pieces.  Certainly, this wasn’t what you had in mind for a “deluxe” version of the game – especially when the game board and reference charts were all so expertly crafted.  Suddenly, our golden ticket into Larry Harris’s Chocolate Factory seemed to be worth… well less than $100.

    As an enthusiast of Axis and Allies, I think it is far more positive to do something proactive than complain about the game.

    So here’s my question: **How do we fix what Wizards gave us?   **

    Of course, many of you don’t care what quality the playing pieces are.  Even if they were sculpted from dog doo-doo, it would still be Axis and Allies to you and you would still play the game – good times as usual.

    But for those of us who do care, do we:

    a)  Sign a letter to Wizards detailing the error of their ways and hope they remand us with good pieces? (improbable)

    b)  Buy copies of A&A:Europe or A&A:Pacific and simply exchange those pieces (which are of higher quality) with the ones in Axis and Allies:50?  (Purchasing both copies will easily cost upwards of $50, though many of you already own copies – in which case, problem solved).

    c)  Look to an outside source (a third party company) to buy replacement pieces from?  (This seems like the best idea, short of robbing a bank.  The only problem is that I don’t think such a company exists)

    d)  Other???



  • My vote is for option “A”.  But that’s only because I’m indifferent to the quality of the pieces, and option “A” was the only one which did not require me shelling out more money.
    Also, I think if you guys are seriously unhappy with the quality of the pieces, then Larry Harris and/or Avalon Hill should know about it.  WE are their customer base, they made this game for us; so if we are not happy then they should know it.
    Thanks.



  • @TG:

    b)  Buy copies of A&A:Europe or A&A:Pacific and simply exchange those pieces (which are of higher quality) with the ones in Axis and Allies:50?  (Purchasing both copies will easily cost upwards of $50, though many of you already own copies – in which case, problem solved).

    that’s the best ‘solution’ … but you still have a problem: how do you replace the Italian Chips? Which, additionally, happen to be the worst, since her air and navy are simply German chips with other colors.

    @TG:

    d)  Other???

    If you want to go for the very expensive and time consuming (but far best solution), here it goes:

    I’m fro Argentina, so you couldn’t buy the game when it first come out (I’m talking about AA Classic).
    So here is what a group of friends and I did:
    we built our own really huge map
    we buy a bunch of small scale models, we built and paint them…

    yes, it was crazy, but was very beautiful



  • uhm… I’m just curious:

    what naval, air, and land units does AA Pacific, Europe, Guadalcanal, D-Day, and Battle of the Bugle represent? Is there much change?

    I know that US fighters for AA Pacific are Hellcats (or maybe Wildcats?). They seem to be the same than AA50
    Does the ships’ class change or are they the same?


  • Customizer

    actually, if memory serves me. you might be able to get generic equivalents from tabletactics.com. the pieces are very high quality and they’re the only place i’ve seen where you can get these parts.


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

    Somebody draft a letter and ill help get it signed by others.


  • 2007 AAR League

    "Dear Avalon Hill,

    Your plastic playing pieces in A&A:50 severely suck.

    Yours truly,

    Gamer

    P.S. – Frank Zenau wants his molds back."



  • I agree wholeheartedly that Hasbro/Avalon Hill/Wizards Of The Coast have let the gaming world down by allowing such shoddy pieces to be placed on the market. But I think this stems from the much larger issue of their apathy towards customer service.



  • Gallo Rojo,

    what naval, air, and land units does AA Pacific, Europe, Guadalcanal, D-Day, and Battle of the Bugle represent? Is there much change?

    I don’t own any of those games, but I don’t think it makes much of a difference.  I realize now option b) is flawed because we don’t have Italian pieces (as you mentioned) and neither of those games offer cruisers.  So we’re still stuck using SOME gummy pieces.

    I’m fro :mrgreen: Argentina, so you couldn’t buy the game when it first come out (I’m talking about AA Classic).
    So here is what a group of friends and I did:
    we built our own really huge map
    we buy a bunch of small scale models, we built and paint them…

    Pictures or it didn’t happen.

    IL,

    Somebody draft a letter and ill help get it signed by others.

    I’m an engineer, which naturally precludes me from knowing anything about writing. 😉

    toblerone77,

    actually, if memory serves me. you might be able to get generic equivalents from tabletactics.com. the pieces are very high quality and they’re the only place i’ve seen where you can get these parts.

    Thanks toblerone, we may be getting somewhere.  I looked at the site and discovered:

    1.  These pieces are only meant as “bonus” units to the game.  You get some wild stuff like V2 rockets, jeeps, and amphibious assualt craft.  In short, it’s everything we don’t need.

    2.  You get 4 colors (295 pieces total)

    3.  The cost is $26, meaning you’re still better off buying the A&A expansion sets.



  • @TG:

    I’m fro :mrgreen: Argentina, so you couldn’t buy the game when it first come out (I’m talking about AA Classic).
    So here is what a group of friends and I did:
    we built our own really huge map
    we buy a bunch of small scale models, we built and paint them…

    Pictures or it didn’t happen.

    That was about ten years ago (boy, I’m getting older…)
    And I’m not living in Argentina anymore.
    Maybe some of my friends still have the game



  • While I agree the figures are a bit lacking, they don’t seem any different to the Classic figures i’ve had for ages. Is there any newer iteration of AA that people felt had better pieces than AA:50?


  • Customizer

    AAE and AAP had good pieces.



  • The pieces in AA50 are fine, my goodness!

    OK so the colors may be too similar, I know that myself becz I have

    trouble with colors, but other than that the units are fine.

    Not just OK but fine for this game.

    Why all this drumbeating about the “alleged” deficits of this game!

    I’ve played it and it is fun with 5 players!!

    Italy is great as a spoiler.

    Can’t wait for the 2d game to try all these new ideas about how best to play

    this brand new exciting game with a great map and a ton of plastic tanks battleships

    cruisers etc

    It is a great value for less than $100 and the replay value is even higher!!

    You’ll make money if you keep replaying it!! :lol:

    So relax and just play it and enjoy it!!



  • @Constantinople:

    The pieces in AA50 are fine, my goodness!

    OK so the colors may be too similar, I know that myself becz I have

    trouble with colors, but other than that the units are fine.

    Not just OK but fine for this game.

    Why all this drumbeating about the “alleged” deficits of this game!

    I’ve played it and it is fun with 5 players!!

    Italy is great as a spoiler.

    Can’t wait for the 2d game to try all these new ideas about how best to play

    this brand new exciting game with a great map and a ton of plastic tanks battleships

    cruisers etc

    It is a great value for less than $100 and the replay value is even higher!!

    You’ll make money if you keep replaying it!! :lol:

    So relax and just play it and enjoy it!!

    Testify!  😄



  • @Gallo:

    @TG:

    I’m fro :mrgreen: Argentina, so you couldn’t buy the game when it first come out (I’m talking about AA Classic).
    So here is what a group of friends and I did:
    we built our own really huge map
    we buy a bunch of small scale models, we built and paint them…

    Pictures or it didn’t happen.

    That was about ten years ago (boy, I’m getting older…)
    And I’m not living in Argentina anymore.
    Maybe some of my friends still have the game

    That is by far the most coolest thing Ive read so far (if it’s true 😉 )
    I might try and convince my girlfriend in designing the entire garden into a AA50 map, and have my whacko dad in law create tin scale models  😄



  • @toblerone77:

    AAE and AAP had good pieces.

    I loved the pieces from Europe and Pacific.

    Look at the fat tanks in this pic :

    This I call real tanks. But then some wiseguy from WOTC figured that this great tanks was too big for the map, so they startet to make skinny tanks. Be my guest. Bottom line is, now we got skinny Shermans and skinny T34’s, and the japanese and Italian light-tanks are actually bigger than the Shermans and T 34’s. Go figure.



  • That’s pretty incredible.  Yes, it makes a big difference.  I hadn’t seen AAE and AAP pieces before, so thanks for the update.  I’m amazed by the amount of detail they put on the T-34.  It actually looks like it has a movable turret.

    Has anyone tried called calling Wizards and requesting new sets of playing pieces for AAE or AAP?  Because that’s what I’m prepared to do.  That is if Wizards is still printing both games.  It may be the cheapest alternative.


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

    Call them let us know what lies they tell you… I have called them lots of times as well as others.  They always have the same stock answer… which is:  “we are working on this problem…blah blah blah… i will check to see if anything can be done… yada yada yada…”



  • I don’t like the length of the new Panther’s barrel, I have too many of them that I got OOB that were bent to hell.

    I even got a deformd midget Russian Bomber.Looks like someone took a modeling knife to it. 😛



  • What’s wrong with the pieces in your opinions?  I didn’t get it yet.



  • i don’t think the pieces are overly bad …

    but this is supposed to be a special 50th anniversary edition. you’d think they could at least make the detail on the moulds as reasonable as the last few releases, or maybe something new and better

    obtaining some metal pieces would definitely take the game to another level of awesome  8-)


  • Customizer

    oh god i complained about this a thousand times.

    i’m not just bitching about this.

    the last two aa games i’ve purchased aar and aa50 have had pieces that i’ve had to shave, heat’n’bend, and wings bend so bad they could’ve been worn like a halloween/novelty ring. i’m here to play aa not decorate f*****g cupcakes!!!

    Whew where’s the tylenol?

    This game is awsome but i want parts that dont have to lean on an idustrial complex to stand up.


  • 2007 AAR League

    To repeat my original complaint, $100 should NOT = crappy plastic pieces.  If they’d at least provided the quality of AAR, I’d have been OKAY with it, if not thrilled.  But these pieces suck worse than AAR pieces, and that’s saying something, since AAR pieces were definitely a downgrade from AAE and AAP.  If it’s a 50th Anniversary Edition (50th anniversary of the founding of Avalon Hill, by the way), why should I care if the quality is the WORST it’s been in those 50 years?



  • TG Moses VI…  waited your life for the game?

    There are 600 or so pieces.  If they were made out of a more expensive material, the game would have cost much more.

    The game is great as is.



  • My biggest gripes about the cheapness is that in the cover of the OOB rules it goes on and on about how they wanted a game that would be the cats meow.

    In Pacific the US had Hellcats and P-38’s for fighters out of the box.  The only thing that sets these pieces apart is light brown, moderate brown, heavy brown and burnt brown.

    @Gamer:

    To repeat my original complaint, $100 should NOT = crappy plastic pieces.  If they’d at least provided the quality of AAR, I’d have been OKAY with it, if not thrilled.  But these pieces suck worse that AAR pieces, and that’s saying something, since AAR pieces were definitely a downgrade from AAE and AAP.  If it’s a 50th Anniversary Edition (50th anniversary of the founding of Avalon Hill, by the way), why should I care if the quality is the WORST it’s been in those 50 years?

    I agree “the quality is the WORST it’s been in those 50 years!”


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