This is our follow up article introducing Axis and Allies 1941, previewing the rules. The World War II strategy game touts itself as a speed game with simplified rules dropping many elements from earlier generations of A&A.
Comparing 1941 with 1942, Classic, and Revised expect to see a number of major differences.
1. Goodbye new factories
You can’t buy new factories anymore. Not only are the plastic factory pieces not included, they are printed on the game board. Though the United Kingdom will have industries in India and Australia, no power will expand. Critical strategies of South Africa, Alaska, and Manchuria are no longer possible.
2. Goodbye anti-air artillery
You can’t buy AAA guns. No plastic pieces are included and the rules omit any mention of them. The rarely used option to maneuver new AAA guns in open territory is gone in 1941. Capitals no longer have air defenses. Now you may ask yourself how will a factory defend itself against strategic bombings …
3. Goodbye strategic bombing raids
Factories no longer need worry about wings of bombers stealing IPCs. There are no strategic bombings. In the Classic world, rare was a bomber with little to do that was assigned a bombing raid. With 1941, the option is taken away.
4. Goodbye battleship bombardment
Amphibious assaults will have to make do without battleships supporting an invasion. Though keeping their 2-hit rule to sink, they offer no support to land combat.
5. Goodbye advanced technology
Sure, you can have your house rules. But the official rules omit super subs, heavy bombers, rockets, and jet fighters. The flavor of Classic has disappeared.
6. Destroyers make the cut, but artillery does not
Part of the game design harkens back to Classic days, relying only on infantry and armor representing ground units. The artillery piece, heralded since the original A&A Europe makes an exit. Since rules governing countering submarines have long since improved, the destroyer stays. However, you won’t find any cruisers.
In closing, you’ll notice IPC deflation. The built-in IPC chart printed on the board goes up only to 25. The Soviet Union begins the game with 7 IPC while the US tops out at 15. And the price of units remain consistent to other games offering no discount. Unlike 1940 where IPC were plenty, powers will need to think carefully how to invest reinforcements.