Originally Published in the Canadian Wargaming Journal. Written by Ken Hole & Dave Cox.

This is the perfect time to release another article on Axis & Allies. This one has been in the "bag" for sometime. It offers anotther equally valid answer to play balance. The credit for the following article is due David Cox. They are his ideas and paraphrased below by myself.

Axis & Allies holds much promise as a game. the game features of production, an indefinite end, full world coverage and relative ease of play and learning were natural attractions to experienced and novice gamers alike. When Nova Game Design first released this game it was played a lot!

Then 2 events happened to change this. World in Flames arrived on the scene and gradually took the more "hard-core" wargmers aways. Milton Bradley bought and released its version of Axis & Allies and gave them exposure to a whole new crowd of gamers (in fact their whole series has done that). However, quite frankly the game is totally unbalanced in the present form in favor of the Allies.

I have come across scads of gamers at every convention I have attended who have their solution to the game balance. Some people have up to a 100 pages of rules and optional rules to balance and/or add new dimensions to the game I prefer a less detailed approach if possible.

Before World in Flames came into vogue the circle of gamers I play with used the following rules to help play balance. The aim was keep most of game intace so as not to end up with an Axis & Allies game in name only here goes:

1. Factories may not be built However, each major country is allowed to place builds in non-factory areas as well as factory areas. A country may place up to its starting contingent of infantry and armor (in non-factory areas within the following "continents " defined below. The only proviso as that they must go in areas owned at the tart of the game by that side and may only be placed if the starting limits of infantry and armor in all areas of that "continent" are not exceeded.

"Continent" Definitions

  • Europe Actual Europe including the area Russia west to Spain and north to Scandinavia
  • Africa Syria west including continental Africa and Madagascar
  • Asia Continental Asia encompassing areas east of Syria & Russia
  • Rest of World All remaining land areas including the Americas, Australia and all islands.

Summary of Starting Limits

Continent UK US USSR Japan Germany
Asia2 Inf4 Inf7 Inf, 1 Arm7 Inf
Africa3 Inf, 1 Arm---2 Inf, 1 Arm
Europe--5 Inf-11 Inf, 6 Arm
Rest of World3 Inf, 1 Arm3 Inf--9 Inf

2. (Optional bur recommended) When doing combat make all die rolling additive and roll only the remainder chance. (This is the low luck option for TripleA)

3. Do not use the Commander in Chief rules. (Unnecessary advantage to the Allies in this rule).

4. Do not use special weapons rules.