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Posted on Nov 10, 2006 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Axis and Allies Minis: Reserves

By Paul Glasser

A number of heroes and other units will be released for minor factions like Canada and Italy. Heroes are powerful units that can use special abilities to rally friendly soldiers or destroy the enemy. France will be able to field a new Partisan unit and an armored car. Hungarian forces will also be introduced in this set. An officer, the Turan I, a riflemen unit, and an AT gun will be some of the units available to the Axis player. Poland will become a viable army with the addition of a Mauser rifleman and a veteran NCO squad leader.

The new release will also feature three new support units: the ammo dump, a fuel depot, and an HQ section. All three units are fragile and expensive, which makes them more practical in larger battles. Each support unit will easily be destroyed by guerillas or fighter planes unless they are defended by friendly troops. The ammo dump allows a player to re-roll any attack die that have a result of 1. Any die that again result in a 1 cannot be rolled a third time. The fuel depot gives all friendly tanks with a speed of 3 or more an additional movement point. The HQ section will allow the player to re-roll their initiative bonus once per turn.



This release includes a number of important units that will greatly improve gameplay, including the Shiden-Kai and Fallschirmjäger. However, it is difficult to understand why so many duplicates have already been introduced. Reserves is only the fourth expansion set that has been introduced, but there are already two Panther variants and two identical M3 Lee models. At the same time, a number of basic units, including combat engineers, the MP40, and the SVT40 are still missing. In addition, neither the Americans nor Soviets have a medium machine-gun squad. Finally, the Soviets and the Japanese both lack AA support.

Although each expansion adds important elements to the game, the design process can be confusing and illogical at times. It’s hard to understand why the Centurion, which never saw combat in World War II, has been published, but many other essential units have not been included.

Despite these few issues, this product is recommended for fans of the series.

Author Information

Paul Glasser works as a political journalist in Kentucky. He holds a BA in history from Purdue University and spends most of time free reading and writing about military history. He writes and edits freelance articles for a number of on-line publications, but focuses mainly on miniatures gaming.

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