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Posted on Jun 28, 2006 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

A Short Review of Axis and Allies Miniatures

By Tim McCormley

Assault phase: First player moves any or all units or attacks with any or all units. Second player does likewise. Attacks are considered simultaneous, so you don’t have to worry about being destroyed before you get off a shot. After the assault phase, you resolve casualties. The combat resolution is very primitive, you won’t have to worry about running out of ammo, but contains some intermediate damaged states (disrupted, damaged, destroyed) that keeps things interesting. Also, they do factor in range. Basically, each unit has an attack value (represented by the number of dice rolled) that is adjusted down by range. The defense of a unit is reflected in the number of hits required to hurt it on any given attack. Unit facing and terrain can also affect how hard it is to hit unit. By default, you need to roll at least a 5 to hit a unit. So to hit a Sherman from the front, you have to roll at least five 5’s when attacking. A Pz IV rolls 11 dice when shooting at long range (5-8 hexes), which is about halfway across the battlefield. That should give you some idea about the lethality of combat.


Statistics for each of the pieces

Many of the units have special abilities that can dramatically affect their combat stats, so there was at least some attempt made to inject some detail into many of the units. For example, the Churchill Crocodile comes equipped with a flamethrower. Yeehaw! You can imagine the effect it has on infantry.

Despite its simplicity (or maybe because of it) I enjoy the game. It’s gets pretty tense (you often have to make some very difficult decisions during the assault phase) and does allow you to use at least some military tactics (like overwatch) despite it’s abstractions. But make no mistake, this is a dicefest. You can minimize the odds, but you can’t control the odds. If you’re one of those people (like myself) that seem to have angered the "Gods of Dice" for some arcane reason, you can end up getting creamed no matter how good your tactics are. But I often have fun even when I get slaughtered.

And anyway, it’s just toy soldiers.


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1 Comment

  1. Tired of hanging on
    If you miss, I’ve just gone
    Cause they’re taking me
    Out of my mind