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Axis and Allies Miniatures Expert Rules

AAM Expert Rules (V1.0):
Important: This is just the initial incarnation of the rules. The design calls for relatively simple changes, keeping the core of the regular rules intact. They haven’t been developed or playtested to a significant or sufficient degree. They will be subject to serious changes in near future. We have set up a special set of forums just to discuss these proposed rules.

Platoon cards are now available. Platoon cards cost a set amount and provide multiple units for one fixed cost. Like standard units they are subject to nationality. The total number of figures in the platoon counts against the total unit limit. (i.e. If there are 5 units in the platoon, you can only take another 10 units in a standard scenario of 15 unit max).

Starting Cards:

  • American Infantry Platoon: 1x "Red Devil" Captain, 2x M1 Garand Rifle, 1x Bazooka, 1x BAR Gunner = 16 points
  • Russian Infantry Platoon: 1x Commisar, 4x Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 = 12 points.
  • German Infantry Platoon: 1x SS-Haupsturmführer, 3x Mauser Kar 98k, 1x MG 42 Machine-Gun Team = 19 points.
  • British Infantry Platoon: 1x Inspiring Lieutenant, 2x SMLE No. 4 Rifle, 1x Vickers Machine-Gun Team, 1x Bren Machine Gunner = 21 points.
  • Japanese Infantry Platoon: 1x Imperial Sergeant, 3x Arisaka Rifle, 1x Type 89 Mortar = 20 points.
  • Many more platoon cards to be added later.

Enfilade Fire:
When a friendly soldier is adjacent to an enemy soldier, treat the enemy soldier as facing that unit for any other units that fire at that enemy unit. Any friendly fire that hits the rear of that enemy soldier has a bonus of +1 on the attack dice.

Example: If you have soldiers on opposite sides and adjacent to an enemy soldier, both of your soldiers would get a +1 on attack die bonus on their attacks against that unit. If you have a soldier adjacent and to the north of a unit and another unit 3 hexes to the southeast of that unit, the unit 3 hexes away would get a +1 on its attack dice.

Special Units:
Heroes, Paratrooper and Partisans are treated as special units. Special units are limited in the total number you can take by scenario. Special units may be limited in their deployment by scenario.

Firing at Aircraft:
Units without the antiaircraft ability suffer an additional –1 on attack dice if they are not in the hex of the aircraft or in the row of hexes the aircraft is facing. This is cumulative with the standard –1 on attack dice that non-antiair units have and all other modifiers. (e.g. If a regular unit is to the left or right of an aircraft then it has a –2 on attack dice, a disrupted unit in the same position has a –3 and cannot hit the aircraft).

Defensive Fire:
Defensive Fire now is no longer limited to only disruption, it can achieve damaged or destroyed. Units in cover that succeed in their cover roll are disrupted. All other rules for Defensive Fire remain unchanged.

Instead of moving a vehicle or antitank (soldiers with the Relocate ability) unit during the movement phase or activating a unit during the assault phase a player may place that unit on overwatch. That unit may not move or fire during that phase. The unit placed on Overwatch must be placed facing a hex side. If the unit has a turret, you may face the unit one direction and point the turret in a different direction, the direction the turret is facing is the direction of Overwatch. Place an Overwatch counter on that unit to mark it being on Overwatch.

If an enemy unit enters a hex of the hex row that the Overwatching unit is facing, then the unit placed on Overwatch may make a Defensive Fire attack on the moving unit. Remove the Overwatch counter when the unit fires or at the Casualty Phase. A player may place only 2 units on Overwatch at any one time (this limit applies per 100 points of units allowed by the scenario, so in larger scenarios more units may be placed on Overwatch).

Grazing Fire:
Machine Guns (Soldiers with the Double Shot ability) may choose to use Grazing Fire instead of firing an additional time during the Assault Phase or as a Defensive Fire attack. If they choose to utilize Grazing Fire they may attack all other units that are both adjacent to the original target and on the same line of sight as the original target.

Expert Rules Notes and Discussion

Platoon Pricing:
There is a small problem with balance in the current game. The number of ‘playable’ figures, the ones that are worth their cost is a lower percentage than we would like. For a miniatures game, we need most of our figures to be playable or close to playable since miniatures are both tangible and have a higher real cost than the equivalent in trading card games. There is also the limitation that you have fewer miniatures then a TCG has cards, so each miniature that can’t be played in an army due to costing too many points is more significant.

Platoon Pricing will offer the players a defined group of figures (e.g. three 3 point infantry, 1 machine gun, 1 commander) at a reduced cost from their individual combined costs. This will allow us to offer historical groupings and at the same time bring more figures to the level of ‘playable’ figures. The standard platoon will aim at being no higher than 35 points or so, we want to offer players options, not build their army for them. Since vehicles typically cost 21 or more, platoon cards for them will cost significantly more. Vehicle platoons will cost a significant part of a 100 point army, so we will have to use caution in pricing so that the players can still have options once they include a platoon or two.

We will offer multiple platoon cards for each nationality. Infantry platoons, mortar platoons, headquarters elements, recon platoons, antitank platoons, etc. This is great spot for player input in terms of what they expect to be reasonable in terms of platoons. Since figures represent a varying level of personnel, the platoon cards should be balanced in terms of number of units to reflect the players’ expectations.

Enfilade Fire:
Enfilade fire happens when a unit is deployed to meet a threat and additional fire comes in from a direction perpendicular to the main axis of fire. Since infantry units tend to deploy in cover along a line, fire along that line tends to be very effective.

To represent enfilade fire we can go several directions. The easiest is to give a bonus to units that attack a unit if there is a friendly unit to the rear of the attacked unit. It would be a bit more realistic if we can make this at range, but the complexities of a rule that accounts for multiple attackers from range might be more than is justified.

Limiting Specials:
Several of the specials should be toned back in order to greater represent ‘historical’ battles. Heroes have been errata’d to be only 1 per army. Paratroopers can only be dropped in a historical situation, meaning their special will only work when the paratrooper army is built in a historical model. Partisans might be restricted also to historical scenarios, since partisans were rarely involved in set piece battles.

Aircraft are a bit more vulnerable then is appropriate. To increase an aircraft's ability to survive and to increase realism, only the non-AA figure(s) that the airplane is facing will receive the –1DM, all others will receive a –2DM. The historical reasoning is deflection. When a target is traveling in a direction not towards the firer, the target becomes significantly harder to hit. While there was always a chance to down an aircraft from ground fire and in fact the significant majority of allied ground support aircraft were indeed downed by fire from the ground, it is quite difficult for the untrained unit to successfully hit an airplane that is moving in direction away or perpendicular to the unit.

Defensive Fire:
Currently Defensive Fire is limited to disruptions. This should be changed to work as normal. We have added some powerful figures that can move while disrupted in various forms. Increasing Defensive Fire to regular fire levels makes the rules easier, limits those figures that players currently feel move about a bit too freely and makes setting up a defensive line a little more appropriate.

Ranged Defensive Fire isn’t in the standard rules. Right now there is no opportunity for the antitank gun to prevent vehicles from crossing a road or any clear space for that matter. We can address this by allowing units to adopt an overwatch position instead of firing or moving. It is reasonable to consider limiting this to only certain units and/or limiting it to just a unit or two per side per turn.

This provides a significant boost to antitank guns, so additional limitations may be required.

Overwatch may slow down the game a bit too much, we will have to be careful to test for how much it affects the pace of the game.

Grazing Fire:
Traditionally the machine gun is nearly half of the firepower of the average infantry platoon. Our game doesn’t really represent that. Grazing fire is fire that stays within a meter of the ground for a significant part of bullets’ flight path. All infantry units can do this fire, but machine guns’ significantly higher rate of fire, makes this an advantage only for the machine gun.

We can represent Grazing Fire by giving machine guns an additional attack against another target, if said target is adjacent to the original target and along the same line of sight. It might be appropriate to restrict this to certain ranges. It might be appropriate to have it only hit the hex rather than adjacent targets along LOS.

AT facing:
Just about all the AT guns had gun shields for the crew to hide behind. All the AT guns have the same defense as mortars and other gun units. We can adopt a rule to give AT guns both facing and a defensive bonus to their front.

At this time we don’t have a rule to simulate this, but have the rule under consideration.

While it would be nice to have morale in the game, since it is such a key component in actual combat, I don’t think we should attempt to add something so outside of the original design. If we were to think of some elegant way to do so, it is worth considering.

There is a lot of advantages for short range fire for soldiers vs tanks, there is little advantage for tanks vs soldiers at short ranges. Historically in any sort of cover the short range advantage the advantage was definitely on the soldiers’ side, however in open ground tanks could be devastating against soldiers and our game doesn’t address that as well. We could use a rule to emphasis the advantage that tanks vs infantry in open ground.

At this time we don’t have a rule to simulate this and do not have a rule under consideration.

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