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Posted on Mar 24, 2008 in Boardgames, Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Axis & Allies Miniatures: North Africa 1940-1943 – Day 1

By Paul Glasser

Although this new version of the M3 is an improvement, it’s not likely to see much competitive play either. Knocking the cost down to 28 points helps, but the Grant still suffers a penalty when trying to roll for cover and is armed with a low-velocity 75mm gun.

The only positive attributes of the Grant are its good armor, speed and infantry-stopping power. The publication last year of a Soviet Lend-Lease Grant makes this version the third incarnation of the "coffin for seven brothers," and it still suffers from the same deficiencies as the original.

Trucks like the Opel Blitz and deuce-and-a-half will also give players the ability to move lots of infantry up to the objective quickly. A variety of half-tracks and armored personnel carriers have already been released, but trucks can carry two infantry units at once and are very cheap. Their low armor makes them easy targets for air strikes but the "high gear" skill allows them to move along roads quickly.

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A number of other units have been hinted at, but not completely unveiled. Commonwealth armies will soon be able to draw on an Australian leader and soldiers equipped with Owen guns. The domestically produced Owen gun fired a 9x19mm round and was capable up to 700 rounds/minute. Commanders can get a discount when they field two Australian riflemen and two Owen gunners and deploy them as a platoon under an Australian officer.

French Alpine troops will also be included in this set. Because of their specialized training, they receive a +1 bonus when attempting to move through difficult terrain.

Armed with 6x.50-caliber guns the P-40 Tomahawk will make an excellent early-war, ground-attack fighter because it receives a bonus when strafing infantry.

The 2-pound gun will give the British some much-needed antitank firepower because right now, only the 6-pound and 17-pound ATGs are available.

Greek officers will be able to inspire adjacent friendly soldiers, giving them an attack bonus after they destroy an enemy.

A new M1 rifle squad will also be available; however, these raw recruits suffer a serious morale penalty.

Other units have been confirmed as elements of the North Africa 1940-1943 set, but haven’t been unveiled yet, including:

-88mm ATG

-Matilda II

-Italian M11/30

-M10 Wolverine tank destroyer

A new map and scenario pack will also be sold separately. The set will include three double-sided 21×30-inch maps, printed with three-inch hexes. One side will include desert terrain and the reverse side will feature jungles.

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ACG Intel:

Avalon Hill

Axis & Allies Miniatures

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