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Axis & Allies 1941 - Board Game Box Shot

Axis & Allies 1941

58 9 8

Five major powers struggle for supremacy. Germany and Japan are aligned against the great alliance of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The game is set in 1941: The Axis has great momentum and is expanding its conquests in both Europe and Asia.

Controlling one of the Axis or Allied powers, you will command both your country’s military forces and its war-time economy. Show that you are a brilliant military strategist by planning your attacks, marshaling your forces into embattled territories, and resolving the conflicts. Victory goes to the side that conquers its opponents on the field of battle and liberates or occupies the greatest cities of the world. Change the course of history in a few short hours!

Quick and Convenient
Axis & Allies 1941 is designed to be set up and played more quickly than any previous A&A game. In essence, this is a simplified A&A experience that will introduce players to the A&A mechanics and play style. Play time runs between 60 to 120 minutes.

Familiar Mechanics
This game utilizes the A&A game mechanics present in A&A 1942 2nd Edition, as designed by Larry Harris (the creator of the original game).

New Units
A key feature for enfranchised players is an entirely new set of unit sculpts. There are 16 all-new designs such as the P-40 Warhawk, Tiger Tank, AVRO Lancaster, FW-190, IS-2 tank, HMS Hood, He-111, and the Akagi Aircraft Carrier. These playing pieces can be used in any other A&A game, and will be desirable to players who seek to expand their A&A collections.

User Reviews (1)

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Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
El Dorado
32 of 34 gamers found this helpful
“The entry-level Axis & Allies game - perfect for beginners. Cheap too!”

Overview: This is the easiest and quickest-to-play version of Axis & Allies ever released. I would personally recommend it to any new players who are curious about the game as it is a lot more simple to understand, and can be played in less than 2 hours. Many of the rules have been stripped right back to the bare bones, and this has made the whole experience much more streamlined and easier to get to grips with. It is also a great game for the more experienced players and veterans alike, as the refined game play is at times just as challenging and adds a whole new puzzle to solve!


General rules: For those of you who have never played Axis & Allies before, I’m going to give a very brief summary of the basic rules of the main game. Otherwise, please skip to the next paragraph. Axis & Allies is a World War II strategy game that comprises of many different titles/editions, all with varying complexity. There are really detailed and advanced versions (Axis & Allies Europe and Pacific 1940) and there are also theatre-level expansions (A&A D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, Guadalcanal). This version is the most basic to date and is the one that I would suggest that newcomers try out first. Each player takes control of a world power during the war: the bad guys are the Axis powers (Germany & Japan) and the good guys are the Allies (United Kingdom, United States & Soviet Union). The game begins at a certain point during the struggle, offering players the chance to change the course of history by trying out different strategies to see what works. The board is comprised of a map of the world circa 1940’s and is made up of land territories and sea zones. The more land your power controls, the richer you’ll be and the more and better combat units you can buy. Some territories are worth a lot more than others and each power begins the game controlling their Capital City as well as many other spaces. Battles are fought by invading enemy spaces using your land, air and sea units and dice are rolled to gain the outcome of these battles. There are Fighters and Bombers, Aircraft Carriers, Submarines, Battleships and Tanks etc. Each unit has its own Cost, Move, Attack & Defence values so there is some degree of learning involved here in order to remember their respective strengths/weaknesses and abilities. If you invade and win a battle on the land, your income (or National Production level) will increase by the amount on the territory and the loser’s income will decrease by the same amount. On your turn you will follow this sequence of steps:

1 – Purchase units. This is where you spend your cash to buy new combat units. Buy the units you require according to their Cost value, pay the money to the bank and then set them aside – they’ll get placed on the game board later on in your turn.

2 – Combat Movement. This is where you use your land, air and sea units to attack the enemy and try to take control of the territories or sea zones which are vital to your war effort. Each of your units can only be involved in one battle. Your land units (Infantry and Tanks) can only attack and defend on the land. Your sea units can only fight in the sea zones. And your air units can fight in/fly over both land and sea. Move all of your units into enemy controlled spaces, using and not exceeding their Move value.

3 – Conduct Combat. Now you will choose the order of which battles you want to fight. Each unit has its own Attack and Defence values as I mentioned above, and this is where they come into play: you roll 1 die for each unit involved in the battle and you score a hit on your enemy’s forces if you roll that unit’s Attack/Defence value or less. For example, an Infantry unit has Attack 1, Defence 2. So if you are attacking with some Infantry, you will try to roll 1s (if you are the defending player, your Infantry will score hits if you roll a 1 or a 2). Tanks have Attack 3, Defence 3 and so on. In any given battle, the player whose turn it is (you) will be the attacker, and the player who is being invaded will be the defender. The attacking player will roll for all of his or her units using their Attack values, and the defending player will do the same using their units’ Defence values. Each hit scored causes 1 casualty to be removed from the battle. The attacker may retreat if things are going badly but the defender may not. Battles are fought until only one side remains victorious and no reinforcements may be brought in once combat has been engaged.

4 – Noncombat Movement. This is where you may move any of your units that were not involved in a battle this turn. It’s a good opportunity to get some units to the front lines in order to strengthen your defences. You can land your Fighters on your Aircraft Carriers if you wish. Any units that were involved in combat during your turn cannot be moved again during this step.

5 – Place new units. Now you get to put the new units that you purchased during step 1 onto the game board. They will be placed at your factories (Industrial Complexes) and can be used to attack on your next turn. So you sometimes have to think one turn ahead which can make planning a bit trickier! You can place sea units into a sea zone if it is adjacent to a territory containing a factory. You can even place new Fighters onto new or existing Aircraft Carriers, which is cool.

6 – Collect income. The quickest and easiest step; you simply check your National Production level according to the chart, and then collect that much money from the bank. You will use these funds on your next turn to buy new units and forge new strategies.

Victory is achieved by your side (Axis or Allies) if you control one or more enemy Victory Cities or Capital Cities. This can take many rounds of play to decide. The Axis powers generally start off with more combat units on the board than the Allies and must attack quickly to achieve their goals. The Allies normally begin the game weaker militarily but have more economic strength than the Axis, which allows them to build up slowly over time.

Components: The box, rulebook and pieces are very nice quality. This 1941 game comes with brand new sculpts of ALL the units including the much-coveted German Tiger Tank! An interesting point is that the same unit sculpts are used for both of the Axis powers and yet a different set of sculpts are used for all three of the Allied powers. This will perhaps make it easier for new players to differentiate between all the various pieces in the game. The only thing I would say is that you don’t get very many combat unit pieces and this may cause players to run out sometimes. However, this version now comes with green chips for stacking up on units (as well as the normal grey and red) and I think they look neat. Green represent 3 units, whilst grey still represents 1 and red 5. However, the chips are smaller than usual and are made card as opposed to plastic. The map is a beautiful thing to behold and is very easy to assemble. And it’s just about the right size too. However, the game only comes with four black D-6 dice which should be enough; however, feel free to use some dice from other games if you wish.

Setup: This game takes about 10 minutes to prepare which is fast for an Axis & Allies game! There are a lot fewer spaces (territories and sea zones) on the map this time around, and this makes for a much shorter game than would otherwise have been the norm. It also means that a lot of crucial battles will be fought literally on your capital cites’ doorsteps! All of the land territories have had their income values significantly reduced which means that players won’t have as much cash to spend on combat units in this version. But this is no bad thing! Less money forces players to make very careful considerations when purchasing their new armies, and I for one like that. The game does not come with the paper money that some A&A veterans may be used to but this is no problem due to the lowered expenditures, and I have found that it doesn’t detract from the game play. However, players may feel free to raid their other versions or even Monopoly to get some of these paper notes!

Game play: There are many slight changes here – and even experienced players will want to read through the rulebook at least once, just to familiarise themselves with them. For example, there is no strategic bombing of enemy Industrial Complexes in this version, nor can Battleships bombard coastal territories during an amphibious assault. The biggest change, however, is that there are no Artillery or Cruiser units in this version. So on the land you’re literally down to Infantry and Tanks! The costs of some of the units have been revised too making some of the more expensive ones a little cheaper, which is cool (e.g. Battleships now cost 16 instead of 20). There are two different ways of winning the game; a ‘standard’ and a ‘total’ victory making for a shorter or longer game respectively. There are no Technology rules in this game which also detracts from the longer play time; however, I see no reason that players couldn’t house rule this if they wished. Another interesting point also is that the Industrial Complexes come printed onto the map in this version, and you cannot buy new ones! There are ICs in India and Australia as well, which is better for the United Kingdom player. Oh, and Anti-Aircraft Guns are no longer available to buy – they come built into the Industrial Complexes. I’m not going to talk about the strategy involved for each power here, as I believe this is something you should discover for yourself!

Overall opinion: I really like this version! It’s fast, furious and simple. My group finished a game in one sitting and quickly started another. A lot of the territories don’t have income values although they are still of huge strategic importance – so it’s no good leaving them undefended! With such less room to maneouvre it really makes players think carefully about where to put their units, and with such small economies it also becomes really important not to lose that Fighter or Bomber, as they will be expensive to replace! I think one of the most attractive features about this game is its cost; this is by far the cheapest Axis & Allies game on the market – and a must have for all fans, as well as a good investment for new players. This game would therefore make an ideal, exciting and inexpensive present to any budding strategy gamer who is thinking about moving away from something like Risk, up into the next level. I will be playing this title for some time to come, and I award it a good 8/10.


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