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Axis & Allies 1942

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Spring 1942, The World is at War!
Axis & Allies celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary in August of 2009 with a new and updated edition of it’s original classic game. Axis & Allies 1942, designed and developed by Larry Harris, will utilize the updated rules established in A&A Anniversary Edition. Cruiser class ships will make their debut in A&A 1942, forever changing the naval line-up. Newly sculpted playing pieces and all new packaging will position this game as the cornerstone of the Axis & Allies game line for years to come. Decide the fate of a nation in a few short hours!

Axis & Allies 1942 details:

  • Rulebook updated by Larry Harris, creator of the Axis & Allies game system
  • Packaging, play components, and game board map feature updated art
  • 370 game pieces featuring refreshed sculpts plus new models for cruisers
  • Updated naval unit rules as debuted in Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition

User Reviews (6)

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Gamer - Level 3
54 of 61 gamers found this helpful
“A good introduction to the grand global warfare style game.”

Ever since I was a wee lad, I remember seeing a copy of the original A&A at my older cousin’s home whenever I would visit them. Since then I wanted to play it. I have always had an interest in World War Two, and wanted to see if I could beat the Axis and repeat history. But, lo, my parents did not want me to have it as they felt it was too complex for 8 year old me, so we must fast forward to 2010. That is when I spotted A&A: Spring 1942 for sale at Borders (RIP) and using a 30% off coupon, purchased it. Yet, it sat collecting dust for another year until my wife’s brother-in-law came to visit and I finally played my first game of A&A!

I must admit that complexity is part of the game, yet I don’t feel that it bogged it down. Overall, I was very happy with it, yet feel that it is not for casual boardgamers. It must be played with a grand mentality for strategy and with patience if you are a first-timer.

The look and feel of the game was great. Remembering to use the grey and red chits for larger battle groups are key as the Eastern Europe and Western Russia can get bogged down with minis.

I look forward to finding more people to play with, as I feel that a two player game lacked some excitement.



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Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
El Dorado
54 of 61 gamers found this helpful
“Spring 1942 - The definitive Axis & Allies experience!”

First of all, I must state that this is a wonderful Axis & Allies title – and I nearly own them all! (There are so many variations of the main game that if you are reading this then the chances are you already know how to play, and so I won’t go heavily into the rules) Being a smaller and more concise/streamlined version of the ‘A&A 50th Anniversary Edition’, it uses many of the same style components, most notably the topographical-style map, which always looks VERY nice!

So – on the plus side then: the new sculpts for the playing peices (or miniatures) are indeed among the best ever seen in an A&A title; especially the brand new naval unit designs for the Soviet Union player. The quality and clarity of the rules are superb and leave no question unanswered; however, as with all A&A games there is an official Errata & FAQ document available, which irons out any last creases you may have (and I have added a link to this in the ‘Game Tips’ section of this page, above).

On the down side: This game unfortunately does not come with any of the paper money normally associated with the A&A series (I just pillaged some of my other A&A games for this). It also does not come with a proper sized battle board, but these things can be overcome! My biggest annoyance with the game, however, is the size of the board/playing map – it is rather small and can get quite crowded with pieces during the early stages of the game. Still, I have played several games with friends and we have always managed to get around the issue with minimal fuss.

Two of the major differences between this Spring 1942 edition and the 50th Anniversary Edition are: this game does not feature the ‘Research & Technology’ rules that allows you to improve your combat units’ abilities, among other advantages. It also does not feature the ‘National Advantages’ rules that allow you to gain much needed additional income.

The game is not overly-complicated and I would therefore suggest that this edition is mainly for beginners; and to that end I have been using it to introduce new players to Axis & Allies (and you can always add the technology rules yourself, if you like).

Overall then, I’d say that this game is well worth the money. Please go ahead and buy it if you want to make the move from ‘Risk’ style games up to the next level of strategy – you won’t be disappointed. Being a firm Axis & Allies proponent I personally love this game – as I do all its other variants – and play it wherever I get the chance to bring new players into the fold.

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Comic Book Fan
54 of 61 gamers found this helpful
“The Settlers of Wargames”

I consider Settlers of Catan to be the introduction to Board Games, and Axis and Allies to be the introduction to War Games. I’d probably want the person playing to have at least tried a game like Risk before playing –but that’s just so they’d have an idea of how dice are used.

Most people aren’t thrown into a comic shop at age 5 and given a crash-course of mentoring by the terrain building veterans still wearing reenactment garb from earlier that morning. Most people are introduced slowly into the “world of gaming.” They have to be… because Classic Games are all they usually know exist.

Axis and Allies has a special bit of magic about it. People typically are familiar with the basic tactics employed during the war. If you tell a beginning player controlling Japan that they probably want to attack Pearl Harbor –they’ll understand. Axis and Allies gives an introduction to War Games in a way that’s not overwhelming or alienating.

The nice sculpts and “newness” of this version really do a lot for today’s “almost-gamers.” I had the joy of sitting down with a group of college-players at an alumni gathering few weeks ago who were distinct non-gamers. They were all having some fun and were a bit surprised when during set-up I asked if I could fill in the missing spot. Their surprise continued when I told them I already knew how to play their “new game.” I couldn’t help but chuckle when one player told me “Japan can’t attack Russia, they have to go after the US fleet.”

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5 Beta 2.0 Tester
Went to Gen Con 2012
Amateur Reviewer
53 of 60 gamers found this helpful
“Keep your copy of Axis & Allies Revised”

Axis & Allies Spring 1942 (A&A 1942) is the newest edition of Avalon Hill’s venerable World War II board game. Axis & Allies has gone through several revisions since its inception and the 1942 version hopes to present the most optimized and streamlined version to date.

So, is 1942 the best version yet? Or is it the same game with a new coat of paint? We shall see if investing in a new version of A&A is Worth It.

What You Get:

Axis & Allies 1942 encompassed the scale of World War II in its entirety so you get five nations to command; Germany, Japan, USA, UK, and USSR. There are 370 game pieces included to represent the various units of each nation. There is also a new version of the game board which features some fantastic new art. There are also mini set-up cards with the locations for the starting armies, a new combat strip, control tokens, a handful of dice, and a rulebook.

Playing the Game:

1942 plays like all other versions of Axis & Allies. If you have played any version before, you will right at home. Set up,combat, and the object of the game remain the same from A&A Revised. The game plays the same as its predecessors with just small rules tweeks and a few changes to the units.

The object of the game is to capture a set amount of Victory Cities. Each side starts the game with six VCs. The game is played in a series of rounds. In each round, each faction gets to take a turn. During your turn you train (purchase) new units, make combat moves, resolves combat, make non-combat moves, and place your newly trained units. Gameplay, at its core, is simple. But players can get bogged down in all the moves to make and battles to fight. The game continues until one side has captured enough VCs to claim victory.

Axis & Allies is the master of historical board games and is best played in two teams of two. Having a teammate to discuss strategy makes a big difference. Commanding the entirety of the Axis or Allies solo is a monumental task.

What Changed:

No Research – They got rid of Research. Really? The ability to research awesome new powers for your units was great and rolling that Research Die was often one of the most tense moments in the game. Except for Heavy Bombers. Everybody knows that Heavy Bombers broke the game and everybody house ruled that no Heavy Bombers could be researched. But to get rid of it all together? C’mon. Purchasing a Research Die was part of what made A&A so much fun.

Submarines Defend on a 1 – Another gripe with the new rules. Subs used to defend on a 2, respectable, not overpowered. Now, it’s a 1. Sure, they lowered the cost but who wants to buy subs when they cannot defend themselves. And considering how little Destroyers cost, there is no reason to waste money on an Attack 2, Defend 1 unit.

Transports Cannot Defend Themselves – This is strictly personal preference but the removal of Transport Ships ability to defend themselves is annoying. I completely understand that as a transport ship it is not designed to fight in naval battles but it takes away one the moments that made Axis & Allies so great…the ability for a lowly Transport to strike back at an overwhelming enemy force. It is a classic A&A scenario, the lone Transport attempting to run the blockage and it attacked by a huge naval force. But will the transport go down quietly, of course not! They get to roll a single die and will take an enemy ship down to Dave Jones’ locker with them! But not anymore. Now transports just die if a hostile plane or ship moves into the same zone. More realistic, sure. More fun,* no.

The Combat Strip – Instead of using the large, space consuming Combat Card we have a minimal Combat Strip. It is a great update to the game. It has all the information you need printed right on it and you no longer have to worry about where to find space for the battles.

Strategic Bombing Raids – The rules for Strategic Bombing have changed quite a bit and they may be the only rule change that makes sense. Instead of forcing your opponent to discard IPCs they Industrial Complex itself takes damage. That damage can be removed at the cost of one IPC per point of damage. If the damage reaches certain thresholds then the player cannot built any units until the Industrial Complex is repaired. This rule change brings more balance to Strategic Bombing and adds an interesting element to the game.

The Good:

The Game Board – It is a work of art. Each new version of A&A has featured a new and improved game board and this version takes the cake. The territories are wonderfully detailed and the addition of the ice caps across the top of the board is a cool way to make the edge of the map.

Built In IPC Chart – The game board now has the IPC chart built in. You no longer have to keep track of the money on a separate board which helps cut down on table clutter. This is just another reason to love the new game board.

New Model Sculpts – Axis and Allies has always entranced me with its detailed game pieces. 1942 sets the new standard for historical board game miniatures. Each nation now has historically accurate models for each unit that are cool and easy to recognize. There is also the addition of a new naval unit, Cruisers, which add more depth to the sea battles.

The Bad:

No IPCs – Collecting and spending ICPs is a huge part of Axis & Allies, it’s the money of the game after all. Often the best player is the one who makes the best use of their precious IPCs. So why does this version not include a single IPC? The rulebook instructs you to just use a piece of paper to keep track of your money. Yeah, I don’t think so. We used the IPC’s from the previous version of the game. Of course, you could also use Monopoly Money…

No Victory City Tracker – Like I mentioned before, the object of the game is to capture a set amount of victory cities. So it would make sense if there was some kind of score card or tracker to use a quick reference to see how many VCs are controlled by each team. Makes sense right? That is why there is a VC Tracker in Axis & Allies Revised, so players know who is winning. So why is there no tracker in this version? Beats me. Of course, A&A 1942 also did not include IPCs so, I shouldn’t be all that surprised.

No Unit Reference Cards – Another item that A&A 1942 lacks. All previous versions of the game included wonderful reference cards that had all the information a player needed regarding the cost, the stats, and the abilities of each individual unit. This made sense because each unit on the table is different. There are tanks, fighters, bombers, infantry, artillery, cruisers, battleships, and many others. I do not have the stats memorized and i think it is unfair for a game to expect you to have the stats for each unit memorized but that is what 1942 wants the player to do. This is just another item that was stripped away from 1942 that creates a frustrating experience.

Not Enough Tokens – Just another component that 1942 lacks. There are barely enough tokens to finish basic set up and we constantly had to clutter the board with more unit models because we ran out of unit tokens. This could have been easily fixed but instead the game shipped with too few components.

Worth It?

Not at all. I figured that Axis & Allies Spring 1942 would be an improvement from A&A Revised, it’s not. Not even close. This version simply lacks the features needed for an enjoyable game experience. There is nothing to represent the game’s currency, there is no method to quickly track victory, there no convenient way to look up unit stats, there are barely enough tokens to set up the game. I constantly felt like I was playing an incomplete game. Before we had even finished setting up the game we broke open a copy of Axis & Allies Revised and grabbed the IPCs, the Victory Tracker, and unit tokens to use while we played. Here is my advice, use the board and the units from 1942 and everything else from Revised. That way you can have a complete, fun, game of Axis & Allies.

Not Worth It

Check out the full review on Cardboard Mountain:

Player Avatar
Reviewed My First Game
54 of 85 gamers found this helpful
“All the great of Axis and Allies, cheap!”

All the A&A basis is here, world map is a bit small but you got the true game with last revised rules for only 30$ !

Player Avatar
I'm Completely Obsessed
54 of 87 gamers found this helpful
“yep 20 bucks well spent”

i got like 8-9 people hooked on this thing and none of them are gamers…it’s like a gate way drugs….2 of them now play flames of war… the other one plays axis and allies miniatures…my friend kyle went and bought every version of the game lol it’s a long game though prepare to spend least 4 hours …


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