New York Magazine article

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New York Magazine article

Post by Hobbes77 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:52 am

Hello Larry,

Just read this article by Niall Ferguson about wargaming and it refers Axis and Allies:

It calls A&A:

"The best of all the war board games, remarkable for the insights it provides into the big strategic questions of the war. Still, oversimplifying in many ways, if not downright misleading."

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Post by Larry » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:21 pm

Hobbes77 - Thanks for the heads up...
I enjoyed the article but not too sure I understood exactly what the clip was saying...
"if not downright misleading."
Actually I think I do. That's too bad... :cry:

:D :D :D

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Post by Hobbes77 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:10 pm

He says on page 2
it is clearly possible for the Axis powers to win, provided they strike quickly against badly led Allies
From a historian point of view that is quite true since the Allies had plenty more resources than the Axis, and there were also other factors against the Axis such as a lack of strategic coordination.

Which are all true but if historical plausability was such a factor on the game, then playability/balance of A&A would likely also go down the drain like the Axis ;)

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historical accuracy versus playability

Post by ChristophfromGermany » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:53 am

I remember endless (and fruitless) discussions on this subject: either Axis & Allies is historically correct and not worth playing or it is the game we have. Of course you can always argue how simple or complex rules should be in order to cover the reality, but this is covered by the mass of house rules. I don´t think there is any other game with so many individual house rules like A&A.

The economics of this game have to be incorrect or the Allies always win: the USSR alone outproduced Germany with tanks, guns and planes. They were often of inferior quality to tanks „Made in Germany“, but a T-34 wasn´t produced for longevity, as a british historian once put it.

The combined income of US, USSR and UK outnumbered that of Germany, Italy and Japan (and the conquered territories) by far. Just think of US mass production of liberty ships and B-24s at Willow Run in Michigan.

Interesting in a military point of view is the fact, that the important turning points of the war (Midway, El Alamein and Stalingrad) took place before the economic superiority decided the outcome of the war. But even if all three battles would have been Axis victories, the Axis would not have won the war. At least in my opinion.

No decent man can prefer war to peace, because at peace-time the sons burry their father while at war, the father burries his sons. (Herodot)

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Post by Imperious leader » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:19 pm

Only adding United States in the war alone was over 100% of the combined axis economic output, where before Dec 1941 the economics proved parity if taken as a whole. Hitler would just have to keep his mouth shut and USA would just be fighting against Japan.

Secondly, The wasted year of Late june 1940- June 1941 was the crucial period, when the axis could have made up by taking out the Middle east oil and afrika which would have done alot in putting the brits out of the war. I am advocating the Admiral Raeder grand strategy for that period.

I wish AA had diplomacy rules so you can have the flexibility offered by this type of strategy.
We really need an Axis and Allies World War one game so i can play that on August 1st, 2014.

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Post by Larry » Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:50 pm

Thanks for all of your thoughtful comments.

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What about that?

Post by GROGnads » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:17 pm

Oh Lar-r-r-r-r-y-! Did you ever fully explain WHY you switched the positionings of the "Aircraft Carrier" with the "Battleship" at "Pearl Harbor" for the initial SET UP? Yeah, that always had me wondering, since they weren't even THERE during that!
"You had to 'GO'!?! Now we ALL have to 'GO'!" BIG Joe-"Kelly's Heroes"-the MOVIE

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Post by Make_It_Round » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:50 pm

Imperious leader wrote: I wish AA had diplomacy rules so you can have the flexibility offered by this type of strategy.
IL: I, too, feel that the political aspect of the game could be given a fuller treatment. Maybe this would better satisfy our article-writing war historian friend, as well.

In practical gameplay terms, I think that the Anniversary Edition will provide us with an opportunity for playing games with, as you say, a 'diplomatic' aspect to them. Check out my ruleset for enabling just this kind of play (I've just posted this elsewhere on this site): ... php?t=1624

Larry, only you know for certain whether or not the new game already has some sort of political flexibility built into it... The rest of us mere mortals will just have to bide our time until the details surface after Gencon!

That is, unless you are free to speak on this topic now...!

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