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The Axis & Allies Campaign Game
by David Devere

Over next two weeks we will be outlining a new variant to the Axis & Allies family of games; it is a combination of the strategic game and the miniatures game. Using the Axis & Allies: Europe and Axis & Allies: Pacific game boards we will play out the war and resolve the battles using miniatures. In one long interconnected series of events we, you and everyone else who participates, will determine the outcome of the 20th century’s greatest conflict. Think of it as a massive multiplayer online board game. The board games will be our strategic determiner, defining where and when. The miniature games will resolve the battles and this website will be where you, the commander of the forces, will get your new battle orders and submit your After Action Reports.

Each battle, every build, every loss and every victory has an effect. Unlike a scenario – each battle will directly affect the course of the war. Your ability to execute the orders from High Command will determine what forces are available for the next turn and how High Command will proceed.

Each week we will present an updated strategic map of either the Europe or Pacific boards with representations of all the units normally used to play either game. Along with the maps we will issue orders to you, our field commander. These Battle Tickets or Fleet Actions will be your contribution to the outcome of the war. The Battle Tickets and Fleet Actions will reflect the units on the strategic map. Your build will be limited by year, type and nationality. Using minor nations may be required and the battles might not be even. High Command expects you to play out the battle and report your results on an After Action Report. You will have one week to complete your assault or defense. The war won’t stop for laggers!

Each turn of the board game is divided into half year increments of Spring-Summer and Fall-Winter. A system for the strategic game has been developed so that each country’s turn is taken simultaneously. The resulting conflict is turned into Battle Tickets or Fleet Actions using the board game units’ attack or defense values. Ratios are computed to determine the type of troops or vessels needed to fight the battle. Once you complete the battle and report, the results of the battle are recomputed and surviving units are placed back onto the strategic map to fight another day.

Both the Europe and Pacific games start with the war already in motion. Here is a recap of events:

For three years a re-armed Germany gobbled up its neighboring countries. In ’38 the Third Reich added Austria and Czechoslovakia to its borders. Britain and France were diplomatically paralyzed.

Then in ’39 the Reich’s Fuhrer added half of Poland, splitting the country with a friendly Soviet Union. This prompted Britain and France to declare war on Germany, but they were paralyzed by memories of WWI.

In March of 1940 Italy and Germany announce a formal alliance, cementing the phrase Mussolini coined, “Rome-Berlin Axis.” By June Germany had added Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France to its realm. By the end of the year Japan, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Romania had signed a 10 year military and economic alliance. Hitler seemed to hold all the cards. Everything was going his way and he was the master of Europe.

The spring of 1941 found German troops conquering Greece and Yugoslavia, and fighting with the Italians in North Africa. The Americans start the Lend-Lease program initially transferring 50 destroyers to the Royal Navies of Britain and Canada. In June Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa. In the Far East a plot was brewing; the Japanese were working on their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

This is where we take up the action, on the eve of Barbarossa in Europe and six months later on the eve of Pearl Harbor in the Pacific. We will alternate theaters and post new tickets and/or reports every week. World War Two encompassed years - this campaign is no less daunting in scale. Depending on how well the war progresses this campaign could last into October.

The success of this game is directly linked to your participation. The more Battle Tickets and Fleet Actions you play and report, the better the outcome for all. Play as often or as little as you like. Every week we will rank top commanders, not only by victories but also by reported battles. Unlike the Russian Commissar, no one will be holding a gun to your head to report honestly, we simply expect it from you.

Next week we will take a detailed look at how to read a Battle Ticket and Fleet Action and how to submit an After Action Report. On April 30th the first orders for the ETO (European Theater of Operations) will be issued. Muster your men, arm your vehicles and prepare for battle.

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