Title Axis & Allies Rules Supplement - First Draft

- by John Hammer -

Milton Bradley's Axis & Allies is a strategic simulation of World War II in a format ideal for the beginning wargamer. Just one increment above Risk in complexity, still it yields rewards for the experienced gamer and novice alike. Axis & Allies is so easy to learn that we routinely use it to introduce new people to the hobby. But when we're playing with our gaming friends, we like to introduce new rules, and modifications to the standard rules, to serve our experience and taste. Here is a sampling of some of our favorite rules.

New Units

Light Carrier (1)12212
Heavy Cruiser (2)18233
Light Cruiser (2)12222
Destroyer (2)/(3)8211
Light Bomber (4)9531
Mobile Anti Aircraft (5)7101
Paratrooper (6)4112
Elite Paratrooper (7)6112
Motorized Infantry4212
Elite Motorized Infantry6223
Elite Infantry4122
Militia (8)2101
Rabble Hordes (9)1101

(1) The Light Carrier unit is functionally identical to the Aircraft Carrier unit except it may carry only one Fighter unit.

(2)These units are functionally identical to the Battleship, including the ability to provide a one-shot support to an amphibious assault.

(3) The Destroyer unit uses the higher attack and defense values if the opposing units consist only of Submarines. If the opposing units consist of a mixture of Submarines and other units, the lower values are used but the presence of a Destroyer will, in this case, prevent a Submarine from executing its special attack or any retreat option (regardless of whether the Submarine is attacking or defending).

(4)The Light Bomber is functionally identical to the Bomber except that it contributes only 1/2d6 for Strategic Bombing and must be used in pairs for Strategic Bombing (i.e. two Light Bombers will produce 1d6 of Strategic Bombing).

(5) A Mobile Anti-Air unit is not in any manner similar to an Anti-Aircraft Battery. It may not shoot at aircraft which fly through its area or which are performing a Strategic Bombing mission in its area. It may participate in defense only and may be moved only during Non-Combat Movement. Any hit scored by a Mobile Anti-Air unit must be taken by an attacking air unit. Hits scored by a Mobile Anti-Air unit cannot be scored on any other than attacking air units.

(6)The Paratrooper unit functions in all ways as an Infantry unit plus it may accompany a Bomber or Light Bomber on a standard attack mission. If Paratrooper units are the only ground units which initiate an attack, they must retreat into an adjacent friendly area at the conclusion of the battle and therefore the area attacked is not captured by the attacker. The Bomber or Light Bomber which transports the Paratrooper must participate in the attack on the area to which the Paratrooper is transported. Paratroopers may be moved during the Non-Combat Movement Phase but must begin their movement with their transporting Bomber or Light Bomber and must end in the same area as their transporting Bomber or Light Bomber. A Bomber may transport two Paratroopers; a Light Bomber may transport one Paratrooper.

(7) The Elite Paratrooper unit is functionally identical to a Paratrooper unit except that Elite Paratrooper units which are the only ground units to initiate an attack may not retreat at the conclusion of the battle and therefore they do capture the attacked area. Note: Use of this rule results in a major change to standard game play and tactics

(8) Militia may move only during the Non-Combat Movement Phase.

(9) Rabble Hordes are functionally identical to Militia except for the following: One hit will destroy two Rabble Hordes units; at least one hit in each combat round must be scored against Rabble Hordes; hits scored by Rabble Hordes may not be scored on enemy air units; hits scored by Rabble Hordes may not be scored on enemy Armor units.

The Blitz Attack

Any country may buy a Blitz Attack. A Blitz Attack may only be purchased on a turn when a country controls all of its starting areas. A Blitz Attack may only be used on a turn when a country controls all of its starting areas. A Blitz Attack may only be used on the turn AFTER it is purchased; if unused for any reason it is lost.

The intention to use a Blitz Attack must be declared on the turn after the Blitz Attack is purchased; if the declaration is not made, the Blitz Attack is lost.

The effect of a Blitz Attack is to add a second Combat Movement Phase and Combat Resolution Phase, called the Blitz Movement Phase and Blitz Combat Phase, immediately prior to the Non-Combat Movement Phase. Only Armor units, Motorized Infantry units, Elite Motorized Infantry units, Fighter units, and Light Bomber units may move in these added phases.

Air units are assumed to have moved two areas during the Combat Movement Phase regardless of the actual number of areas through which they moved during that phase. Air units must still land (during the Non-Combat Movement Phase) in an area which was friendly before the Combat Movement Phase began. Land units may move only one additional area during the Blitz Movement Phase.

The purchase cost of a Blitz Attack is 10.

Alternative Technology Rule #1

Don't play with any technology rules. They are unbalancing and disrupt the game, especially when using the standard rules. The options below are less unbalancing and disruptive than the standard rules.

Alternative Technology Rule #1A

......but if you are going to play with technology, at least limit the number of new technologies which a country can acquire on one turn to only one, and don't allow a technology to take effect until the turn after it was acquired.

Alternative Technology Rule #2

Technology may be purchased at a defined cost for each Technology type. Technology may be used the turn after it is purchased. No more than one Technology type may be purchased by a single country in one turn.

Technology Cost

  • Rockets 10
  • Super Submarine 15
  • Long-Range Aircraft 20
  • Jet Fighters 25
  • Heavy Bombers 30
  • Industrial Technology 35

Alternative Technology Rule #3

Technology operates in all ways as in the standard rules except in the manner in which it is purchased.

A country which wishes to attempt to purchase technology does so before any other purchases. 1d6 is rolled and if the result of the 1d6 roll is a 6, then one technology at random is gained by that country for a cost of 10; the 10 is paid before the technology type is determined. Any other result of the 1d6 roll indicates the amount that country must pay for the attempt. Additional die roll attempts may be made, one at a time, to the limit of available money. However, only one successful technology roll may be made on any one country's turn; after one success, no more attempts may be made by that country on that turn.

Alternative Technology Rule #4

This is the same as Alternative Technology Rule #3, but unsuccessful die rolls cost 5 regardless of the number rolled on the die. Successful die rolls still cost 10.

Alternative Technology Rule #5

This may be used with Alternative Technology Rules #3 and #4 above. If a country pays 20 instead of 10 after a successful die roll is made that country may select any one technology it desires.

Alternative Technology Rule #6: Espionage

A country may attempt to steal away another country's technology. This may be done only after that other country has gained the technology but before that other country's next turn. Espionage is performed before attempts to develop domestic technology.

Pay 5 and roll 1d6. If the result of that roll is a 6, the other country no longer has that technology. If any other result is rolled, the country performing Espionage may pay for another attempt.

Once an Espionage attempt is successful, the country then has the option of attempting to return the information for its own use. Pay 5 and roll 1d6. If the result of that roll is a 6, the country now possesses the stolen technology for its own use. Any other result is a failure, but continued attempts may be made until the country is successful or runs out of money.

A country may not attempt to develop domestic technology if it has successfully brought a foreign powers' technology to its shores. A country may attempt to develop domestic technology if it has successfully stolen an opponent's technology but has not successfully returned that technology for its own use.

A country which has stolen a technology for its own use can, in turn, have that technology stolen away by another country - - - possibly even the country which developed it in the first place!

Loaning Money

A country may loan money to a friendly country. This is done before any technology or units are purchased. A country may not loan more than 10% (round all fractions up) of the amount of money in its treasury, but it may make more than one loan at a time as long as the total of its loans does not violate the 10% limit.


A country may declare that one or more of its units is being transferred to the control of another country. Only air and naval units may be used for Lend-Lease. A unit which attacked during the country's current turn may not be transferred. This is declared at the end of the Non-Combat Movement Phase. A unit must be in an area controlled by or in a sea area adjacent to an area controlled by the country to whom the unit is being transferred at the time the transfer is made. When the transfer is complete, replace the unit with the same unit of the new owner. Only one unit may be sent on a Lend-Lease on each country's turn. A country which does not control its capital may not make or accept a Lend-Lease.

Weird Game: Every Nation for Itself

This game uses all the usual rules, except each player is playing against all the other players. There will be only one winner. The winner is the player who controls ALL areas on the map. The game does not end until one player has won or all players but one concede victory to one player (who is then declared the winner). Each country begins with only its capital area, an Industrial Complex in that capital area, and a certain amount of money (see below). No country begins with any units except the one Industrial Complex. Follow the standard sequence of play. All non-capital areas begin with no units in them and controlled by no country.

Note that although most areas are not under any country's control at the beginning of the game, only the gray-colored areas specified in the standard rules force the expenditure of money in order to move into them. All countries are considered to be at war with all other countries. Peace and alliances are not permitted (sorry, all the diplomats died in the last war). Lend-Lease, Loaning Money, and other rules that can be used only between allied nations may not be used.

Country Starting Money

  • Soviet Union 20
  • Germany 15
  • England 30
  • Japan 25
  • United States 10