Axis and Allies 1941 is the latest addition to our collection. Marketed as a low-end board game, Axis and Allies 1941 carries the branding and spirit of its cousins but much is abbreviated. This article takes a look at components inside the box. Speaking of the box, it shares the same cardboard stock as other more expensive versions. Though smaller, its presentation is par with same style artwork. While in shrink-wrap, no where do you feel cheated. At least, not yet.
The game board
The board is a compact six-panel design that folds and unfolds like a paper map. It is very wide but not very deep. The IPC chart is across the Arctic and counts up to 25. When reading the rules, you will notice there is much IPC deflation. The board is colorful reminding me of Axis and Allies: Revised, and uses faint double-gray lines as territorial borders. There are much fewer territories and that’s by design. Territories don’t carry the industrial production as remembered from Classic, and a good number don’t have any at all.
While most expected challenged territories seem large enough to hold their share of sculpts, many including sea zones are so tiny you’ll hope you’ll never have to put a piece. Granted, these territories almost never get attention, Central America for example. However, the day will come you’ll wish you had either a blow-up box or at least marshaling cards.
Factories are now printed on the map in both traditional places like each power’s capital and new areas such as India and Australia. You’ll also learn quickly you’ll never buy a new factory – ever.
The dice, chips, and battle strip
You will find 4 black dice. Not the five or six you’ll find in other games. I found it kind of cheap, but a necessary gesture. I’m sure the publishers will take for granted you can afford to buy more.
There are no plastic chips with the game! They give you cardboard chips – cardboard. This is low end by 1970 standards. Deplorable by today’s. You’re supposed to punch out 4 red, 8 green, and 22 gray. Its colored on one side but white underneath. Spend the time to make sure they’re right side up. Personally, I’m using plastic chips from 1940. It is sad enough if they printed paper chips to save a little coin. It is more sad if the publishers felt they needed to do something for the tiny board they designed.
There is no battle board but you get the maligned battle strip. Use it long enough until you have the attack and defense numbers memorized. Every power gets exactly 10 roundels.
The game pieces
The pieces are nice following the same color scheme as all modern versions. There are infantry and armor, but no artillery. There are fighters and bombers, and without tactical bombers. There are battleships, subs, aircraft carriers, transports, and destroyers (in the spirit of Revised), but the cruisers are absent.
As far a quality, Axis and Allies 1941 is a mixed-bag. It’s evident the publishers worked hard to keep the price point down. Thirty dollars won’t go very far these days. It doesn’t get you plastic chips and if you have to ask – there are no paper money.