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HackMoor 2018/09/20 No Quorum, Worst Version of Axis & Allies Ever
Games are on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We had a mushroom and hamburger pizza, it was pretty bad.  If that was any indication of the what was to come, I would have left right then and there.

The previous session was cancelled due to my evacuation from Hurricane Florence.  Although it turned out it didn't hit my area after all.



We did not have a quorum with only three Players, so I pulled out two boardgames sitting in my car, Axis & Allies classic (1984) and Axis & Allies 1942, 2nd Edition.  Then I called one of my Sons who won't play HackMaster, but is willing to play anything else.  Bringing myself out of GM mode, that made 5 Players.  I then submitted we play one of the two games and put it up for debate.  

I heard nothing but a glowing review from one Player about the new version, stating that the unit density is lower and can be played in about an hour or so.  He also brought in one of his kids with the expectation he had to leave early.  Another Player said he hadn't played any version in over a decade.  So the only favorable opinion was for the new version, so we tried that.

We opened the box and yes, the map was different than the classic.  The main thing was that they printed satellite view "terrain" style on the global map using mainly dark colors and small print for territories.  The player aid cards were also in small print.  Coupled that one of the flourescent bulbs in the room was out it made for a fairly dim experience.  A couple of us turned on flashlights on our keychains to look at various items on the board.  The map also seemed smaller.

That should have been my first clue.

After set up we started playing, next thing we noticed was that the board was "crowded" and we could not tell one territory from another due to the pieces.  A good thing the original had were cut outs of areas on the edge of the board to put your pieces in for small territories.  I missed that.   They also eliminated money, instead relying on players to constantly audit their Victory Point track on the map.  (Which was another thing, the old system had a separate board to keep track of victory progress and thus away from roving hands, cuffs and elbows.)  In the old system you had a fistful of money, if you lost money but no territories changed hands and remained static, you can simply look at the numeric position of your piece and collect a new Turn's funds.  Also if you have money left over from a previous turn, you now have to remember the Delta.  Thus the Victory Point track was a lively area of the board instead of only when territories changed hands.  (Or we could have used double-entry bookkeeping with two tokens on the Victory Point Track, but there would be no way to note which token was which.)

So a half-hour into the game, the Player who recommended this version because it was shorter to play, stated he had to leave in a half hour.  He also apologized, noting that this was an even "different" version than the "new" version he was accustomed.

Operationally, the Japanese Player did not perform a single attack, thus delaying the timeline in favor of the Allies.

So we completed two turns and did not get far.






[Omitted due to lack of HackMaster this session]



This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.
Tracy Johnson


Honestly, after playing A&A (classic) online, I doubt I could ever go back to the actual board game. So many pieces and tracking. It's a great game but one of the few that plays better on a computer IMO. I think I tried the A&A minis game which is entirely different and only collected the minis after one try to have minis for WW2. Smile
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