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Posted on Feb 13, 2008 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Axis and Allies Miniatures – New Releases

By Paul Glasser

The new 1939-1945 Axis and Allies Miniatures set will offer little to players unless they are obsessive collectors or relative newcomers.

The set is mainly a re-issue of so-called “fan favorites” with a few minor updates. Aside from a few new sculpts and a new coat of paint, there isn’t anything that can’t be included in a new set of errata or house rules.

The expansion includes 60 pieces, most of which were included in the base set released in 2005. The collection includes, infantry, tanks, planes and armored cars from England, Canada, the Soviet Union, France, the United State, Japan, Italy and Germany.

Some vehicles, like the M18 Hellcat, T34/76 and Cromwell tank have been re-scaled so they are proportional to other pieces. Other vehicles like the Tiger I and King Tiger have been given a new camouflage coat of paint, but others, like the Humber scout car and Jagdpanther, merely swapped one dull paint scheme for another.


However, despite the attempts to fix previous production errors, mistakes persist. The gun mantle of the STUG III is still not flush with the body of the tank. The turrets on other vehicles, such as the Carro Armato M13/40 and Panhard P178 are still poorly sculpted.

A few minor gameplay corrections have also been introduced, but it’s nothing that players can’t handle on their own with house rules. Some vehicles, like the M26 Pershing, Tiger I, and S-85 received a slight discount on the number of points that will make it cheaper to field them in an army. The Jagdpanther, Sdfkz 251, Panzer IV Ausf. G and M5 halftracks all benefited from a significant cost reduction, and are likely to see more action, but it’s nothing players can’t address on their own.

A few “new” units were introduced, but they’re nothing more than copies of previously published tanks. There’s no reason for a player to buy the new M5 Stuart when the British can already field an M3 lend-lease Stuart with the exact same stats and point cost. The M3 was originally an uncommon unit, but now it is classified as rare. Any player wanting to field an M5 in their American army can simply re-paint the model and apply a few decals.

The Sherman Firefly also received a minor overhaul, with a small reduction in cost and a new special ability. The updated Sherman is classified as a Canadian unit, but there’s virtually no physical difference from the previously released UK Firefly model.

A few tanks, like the Japanese Ha-Go and the Soviet T-34/76 have been introduced as an “uncommon” as opposed to the original status as “rare.” However, that will have little practical impact aside from a drop in prices from re-sellers on sites like E-bay.

The Valentine I is essentially a clone of the Valentine II, which was introduced more than a year ago. It has virtually the same stats and abilities, and only gained one special skill.

All the infantry units are unchanged in both statistics and appearance. The aircraft are also virtually the same, with only a new paint job or a slightly different sculpt.

The booster kits include two commons, two uncommons and one rare figure, at the cost of $11 each. Earlier this year, publisher Avalon Hill introduced a price-cut on previously released sets lowering the price to $10 a booster. The older packs include five commons, three uncommons and one rare, which means the new kits are actually a poorer bargain.

Starter sets are also available for $17 and include maps, dice, rules, counters and 10 non-random units.

Overall, the Axis and Allies 1939-1945 provides new players with a good opportunity to build their collections. Otherwise, it offers little to veterans gamers who already have a good collection.



  1. i agree the new bosters set are a disapaintment. 5 minis are not worth $12.00 even 6 would be better 3 common 2 uncommon 1 rare. but in this set there are 2 common 2 uncommon 1 rare. the uncommon are as common are the common, wtf. even though the tanks are bigger (which is good) i still think it is a rip off. if you are new this set is good since this set is only reprints your wont compain. this game is fun but prices and little # of mini is no worth $12.00

  2. I agree, I bought one pack only, and found that i got stuff I already had. Whats with the smaller boosters thing?, I wish they would get back to the big boosters. I think there should have at least been a new map pack along with them.

  3. I’ve spent over $2000.00 on this product, first day till now. The only thing that i found is that we get less for more money, this gets me pissed!!. I love this game and play it at least 3 time a day. since then I still play but have slowed down on buying this product, I have almost complete all the sets but still get the SAME thing every time. I totally agree with Jake and Patrick about this problem, hope it will get fix.
    P.S. I will still buy, sell product and play 3 times a day.

  4. You know, the price now isn’t 12.00, in my city it’s 13.50! You know 5 miniatures aren’t worth 13.50 at all, except if get good units for example, The king tiger, so I think it’s a rip of!!!!!!!!! I like this game, but you mostly end up with the miniatures you already have or the ones you didn’t want.