Axis & Allies Nova games 1981



  • Hi All.

    No section for the original?  WTF!!??!?

    Does anybody who still plays this (or even remembers playing it) having any strategy tips for a newbie?

    Also, I’ve seen you can buy French and Chinese chits online.  Were rules ever made for playing with them?

    Thanks in advance to the old vets!



  • @zooooma:

    Also, I’ve seen you can buy French and Chinese chits online.  Were rules ever made for playing with them?

    where did you see those?



  • I can’t remember the first time I saw it.  It appears on eBay every so often, T&T have it now - http://www.trollandtoad.com/p226621.html

    Basically look anywhere you’d find out of print games online.


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

    It has no section because USA builds a factory in China on turn 1 and all her income shows up in China and the game is busted. Thats the rules back then. NO cap on building back then.



  • Gee IL, it seems to me that whenever an A&A game is perceived to be “broken” I see hundreds of posts devoted to “fixing” it.  Incidentally, USA can’t build a factory in China because it is not American controlled - only a pro American neutral.  The States would have to occupy it first, and they’ve no units in Asia at all!

    I think there is no section because there is no interest.  This edition is OOP, hard to find, predates the popularity of the internet and of Axis & Allies.  Most of us learned on the Gamemaster edition.  I was faking the surprise and disappointment.  🙂

    Re the Chinese/French expansion I have a feeling that counters were made but the rules were never completed.  😞



  • Aren’t the neutral rules better than the current rules?

    At least you could bring Spain and Turkey into the game correct?

    Why were thay dropped?

    Did it break the game somehow?


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

    They were dropped because Larry would have to come up with nifty pieces for neutrals and that was not in the budget.

    The game does not say the Americans cant build a factory in China and the game has no limits on numbers of units that may be placed, so if you play it its soon a broken game. I bought the nova game like a few days after it came out and really loved it till i found this trick, but back then i never conceived of ‘house rules to fix games’

    The Atomic bomb was pretty devastating as well.



  • @Imperious:

    The game does not say the Americans cant build a factory in China

    Page 10 of the rules:

    If he has bought any new industrial complex units, he places them last.  They may be placed in any province he controls.

    Page 2 of the rules:

    Grey, light blue, pink, and light green provinces are neutral and not controlled by anyone.


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

    If he has bought any new industrial complex units, he places them last.  They may be placed in any province he controls.

    yes so on US 1 they build the factory and the Soviets protect it. On J1 japan takes the adjacent spot. On J2 they get one crack at the spot with a factory but only have a few infantry. So basically all of the US does is place all his forces and game over…japan cant keep up on the mainland with US IPC…

    Latter once japan is reduced, the swing is for Germany as the shuck heads to Moscow and latter to Berlin. US does not even need to buy transports



  • @Imperious:

    If he has bought any new industrial complex units, he places them last.  They may be placed in any province he controls.

    But USA doesn’t control any Chinese provinces.  They are light blue pro US neutrals.  According to page two of the rules these provinces are not controlled by anybody.  This really couldn’t be any more clear - “not controlled by anybody”.  That’s a direct quote.  Note the very next line “Some provinces may contribute economically to one player, even tough they are not controlled by any player”.  USA does not control pro-US neutrals and cannot build factories there.  If USA wishes to control China, they must follow the ‘Violating Neutrality’ rules on page nine.

    This is not surprising.  The game had seventeen playtesters!  I’m sure at least one of them thought about building factories.  I could see playing with a British factory in India or Africa, and building a US factory in Finland ASAFP.

    I respect and appreciate all that you’ve done and do for the A&A community IL, but you are wrong on this point and hence in your dismissal of the Nova Games edition as being arbitrarily broken.

    I would still love to get my hands on rules (even a first draft) for Chinese (and French) counters.



  • @Shakespeare:

    Aren’t the neutral rules better than the current rules?

    I like the way Nova Games handled neutrals too.

    For those just tunning in, the neutrals in the 1981 edition were identical to those in the MB edition with one exception.  There were regular neutrals, but also pro- neutrals.  The pro- neutrals have an IPC value, and are affiliated with a major power.  As long as that province remains neutral (ie, is not violated), that power receives IPCs as though it controlled the province.  eg, Spain is a pro German neutral.  As long as no player violates Spain’s neutrality Germany receives an extra 100 IPCs a turn as though it controlled Spain.  Otherwise pro- neutrals function exactly as regular neutrals.

    Yes, this was a very cool system I think; but a poor way to handle China.  That’s probably why they made the separate Chinese pieces.

    @Shakespeare:

    Why were thay dropped?

    Did it break the game somehow?

    I think realism issues.  Some nations might have allowed passage for a fee.  Others were literally impassable for ground forces.  But others really were susceptible to brute force - some may have fallen easily, others less so.

    We don’t want a lot of different rules for how each neutral can be passed, and how strong they are, and how they each would react to hostility.  I don’t think we do.  That’s not what A&A is about.

    Incidentally, do you play Supremacy?  The next expansion in line was to be Client States.  It would have included character cards for all the Warlords of the neutral zones as well as rules for making them your client.  As your client, they would do your bidding!  There were also going to be rules for getting UN support when attacking these Warlords.  There were white UN tanks and red berserk warlord tanks!  It’s a real shame Client States wasn’t released - it sounds awesome and I’d have loved to try it.  😞



  • Yes, I have Supremacy, the proposed Client States rules sound cool.

    Too bad the rules about the economy were never fixed, as far as I know!


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

    but you are wrong on this point and hence in your dismissal of the Nova Games edition as being arbitrarily broken.

    Well i am going by what happened back in 1980…so memory cant be that good.

    So if USA takes Spain, then builds a factory and places 40 bucks worth of infantry each turn would this be allowed?

    If so then its still broken, if not then your correct



  • @Imperious:

    So if USA takes Spain, then builds a factory and places 40 bucks worth of infantry each turn would this be allowed?

    Not exactly.  First, USA has a starting income of 3200.  Spain adds 100, so that would be 3300 for 11 infantry (assuming Japan hasn’t invaded China).  Second, there were no chips in this version!  USA can never ever ever have more than twenty infantry total on the board and a given time.

    Other points:

    • Spain is three sea zones away from North America

    • It costs a transport one entire movement point just to load troops.

    This means if USA builds an invasion force on turn one, they can’t attack Spain till turn three.  German subs can ambush the fleet on route, (subs are impervious to attack by any units in this version), and Germany should still have a decent counter attack against Spain.

    So, while USA can build a factory in Spain and dump their entire economy there, it could take a very long time to secure this situation.  If Russia has fallen by then, it could be too late.  Remember too that Japan can build a factory as well  But Japan actually starts with a foothold on the continent, and with a neutral China there is not much in resistance Asia.  I’m not sure, but this looks to me like a quicker game than we are used to.

    I’ve yet to actually play it, but it seems rather rash to think we can determine a fool proof Allied strategy without a more thorough analysis.  If you haven’t played since the early eighties, you (and your opponent) may not have been employing optimal strategy.  I can only assume that thirty years later you have a much better head for A&A?

    This was a very early version of the game so it’s safe to assume that it is lopsided, and probably there are some silly and unrealistic rules.  But all versions are like this to some degree.  I’ve no doubt this is not as good as MB’s version - A&A tends to improve.  But this little bookcase game was well enough loved to be bought (and revamped) by a large company, and to begin a legacy in hobby board gaming.  How poor could it have been?

    I can’t accept that the potential for a US factory breaks the game until I see exactly how they establish a foothold and hang on to Russia long enough to reap the rewards.  Until I see that, the game’s afoot!

    Wish me luck!


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

    Ok fine then UK builds a factory in Spain and US lands to support it till the factory is pumping out. Game broken because once those German subs are dispatched, UK needs nothing because Spain is in reach of Medd and Germany. I know after playing it many times back then that it had some huge bug like this , which was always game over for Axis.

    To have no limits on what can be placed in your newly built factory is a game breaker in any AA game


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