@Patchman123 said in Infantry Pieces and Numeration/Nomenclature:
? I am having trouble sorting out the pieces for all of them and I have EVERY single Axis & Allies game ever made, from the 1984 edition to the latest reprint of Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition.
I am using these numbers to sort out many thousands of pieces
Your collection of A&A games sounds similar to mine, and I can relate to what you’ve said about the challenge of sorting out thousands of sculpts. It depends, however, on what you mean by sorting. If you’re talking about unscrambling a bunch of mixed-together sculpts and figuring out precisely which game each one came from, the basic answer is: it’s easy for the game-unique sculpts (like the blockhouses from D-Day), but anywhere from difficult to impossible for everything else because many sculpts have been re-used identically in several games. And by “identically” I mean identically down to the finest details, as opposed to sculpts which have undergone subtle (or not-so-subtle, or even flagrant) changes of design at some point or another. An example of a flagrant change is the Japanese artillery piece, whose towing struts were closed in the original version and are open in the current one. An example of a not-so-subtle change is the “refreshment” of the design of the five main power infantry units which occurred at some point; compare, for instance, the helmet shapes of the older and newer US and USSR infantrymen. An example of a subtle change is the American destroyer, which gained (or lost?) a notch in the funnel area of its superstructure, or the British Spitfire fighter, whose wings went from upturned to flat.
On top of all that, there’s the added complication of changes which may be intentional design changes or may just be manufacturing inconsitencies. The American Sherman tank, for instance, has many kinds of turret shapes and many types of semicircular hatch covers on top of the turret. An an extreme example: one of the German strategic bombers I own has a decidedly odd variant shape, even though it’s clearly the same plane (a Junkers JU-88) as all the other ones in my collection, and I can only conclude that it’s some sort of factory error caused by, perhaps, the injected plastic cooling in an abnormal way. (I jokingly designate it as the Fuhrer’s private airplane, even though his transport of choice was a three-engined aircraft).
All of this applies to colours and shades too. Some colour uses have a single possible source (e.g. the cherry-red Japanese units, which are from the first printing of the original Pacific game), while others are found all over the place. And shading differences which are evidently manufacturing inconsistencies further complicate the picture: I have some Europe 1940 / Pacific 1940 sculpts (some units are unique to those games, and some are even specific to either the first or second editions) in two different shades for the US and for Germany, even though the basic colours are the same.
The way I deal with all this, personally, is to keep identical sculpts together (sorted in plastic tackle boxes) without bothering about which game they come from. Just distinguishing between identical and non-identical ones already provides ample differentiation for me, given all the factors that have to be judged to decide whether two give sculpts are or aren’t exactly the same.
Incidentally, I’ve sometimes wondered about those infantry base numbers too and I’d be interested in hearing an authoritative answer from anyone who happens to know it. I don’t think the numbers are game-specific; my impression is that in any given game, each infantry sculpt from a given country has its own number. But that theory may not be correct…and it still doesn’t explain what purpose (if any) the numbers serve. Maybe they just have some sort of manufacturing-related function.