What are the Second Edition Rules? Do I have them?
The Second Edition Rules clarify some vague points in the earlier rules and improve the game in some minor ways. You can tell immediately whether you have the updated rules; there's a small box in the lower right corner of the 2nd edition rules book that states "Second Edition Rules." If that box isn't there, you have the older rules. You can download a PDF version of the new rules on our rules page. Everything in this FAQ refers to the Second Edition Rules.
What's the difference between a turn and a round?
A turn is the six steps a player goes through (Weapons Development/Purchase Units, Combat Movement, Combat, Non-Combat Movement, Place New Units, Collect Income). A round is one complete cycle of all five players' turns, beginning with the Soviet Union and ending with the U.S.
After everything is set up at the game's start, there are only four additional industrial complexes left over. Can more than that be built?
No. Once four new industrial complexes are brought into play, no more can be built.
Why doesn't the game's starting setup let you recreate Pearl Harbor?
The game begins in the spring of 1942, several months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, which happened on December 7, 1941. That's why no battleships are set up at Hawaii; they've already been sunk or damaged.
Can my AA guns fire during combat?
No. AA guns fire only during enemy combat movement.
I want to support my amphibious assault with that big 4-rated gunfire from a battleship, but the enemy has ships in the sea zone. Can I hold my battleship back from the naval battle so that it can take part in the amphibious landing instead?
No. The battleship must fight in the sea battle and then it's not eligible to support the landing. Fighters and bombers have a choice; battleships don't.
Can anything retreat from an amphibious assault?
No. An amphibious assault is a fight to the death for every unit involved, both attacking and defending. All attackers, however, can retreat from a naval battle that precedes an amphibious assault.
Where can aircraft land?
You can land your aircraft in any territory that was controlled by you or one of your allies at the start of your turn. You can also land fighters on an aircraft carrier, provided it belongs to you or one of your allies and it doesn't already have two fighters on it. In both cases, the landing spot must be within the aircraft's remaining movement allotment. It's a good idea to move carriers before landing any fighters on them, so that you can't accidentally move the fighters again after they land.
If my fighters are on an ally's carrier, when do they move and fight?
Your fighters move along with the carrier when it moves. They can't fly out to attack on your ally's turn, but they fight normally if the carrier's sea zone is attacked. If the carrier moves into an enemy sea zone to attack, however, your fighters can't be part of the attack but they can be taken as losses, if you agree to sacrifice them.
Can I have more stacks of bombers (or battleships, or whatever) than there are bomber pieces? If so, how would I mark them?
Marking them isn't a problem because you can't have them in the first place. The number of playing pieces is a limit on how many forces can be in play. No one, for example, can have more than three bomber forces, or more than two carrier groups. The only exception to this absolute limit is chips; if you run out of chips you can use anything else as a substitute: pennies, beads, slips of paper, or whatever works for your game.
Note that this applies throughout the entire turn. A stack of six bombers can't split up into more than three groups when they fly out to attack.
When subs withdraw from combat, where can they go?
If the subs were attacking, they can withdraw to any adjacent sea zone that naval units came from when launching this attack.
If the subs are defending, the rules state they can withdraw to any friendly or unoccupied adjacent sea zone. Ultimately, both of these amount to the same thing; any sea zone that does not contain enemy naval vessels or aircraft at the time the subs withdraw. That last bit is very important because it means defending subs can withdraw into sea zones that the attacking forces came from, thus cutting off the attacker's avenue of retreat. As long as there are no enemy units currently in a sea zone, it's a legal withdrawal path for defending subs. (Units on an island don't matter; they're in a land territory, not in the sea zone.)
Can a transport unload two infantry into two different territories?
Yes, but only during noncombat movement. Both territories need to be adjacent to the same sea zone.
The Allies seem to win a lot. Is the game well balanced?
A lot of players feel that the Allies win too often -- although in our view, any Axis victory is one too many. :)
Much of this arises from how people play the game. Most players are interested only in whether the Axis or the Allies win the war. When the Allies cooperate fully, their industrial advantage is tough for the Axis to overcome.
Playing with the individual victory conditions goes a long way toward restoring the balance because the Allies won't cooperate quite as freely. For example, England won't be as eager to send fighters to Karelia if those fighters, besides contributing to the defeat of Germany, also contribute to the Soviet Union's eventual victory and domination over postwar Europe. We recommend using the individual victory conditions. A small dose of distrust and skepticism goes a long way.
Are there other ways to adjust the game's balance besides using the individual victory conditions?
There are three optional rules that swing the game's balance toward the Axis. We recommend trying them one at a time to see which you like best. Using more than one in the same game tends to shift the balance too much in favor of the Axis.
1) Allow Germany to have Jet Power and Japan to have Super Subs at the start of the game.
2) Do not allow the USSR to make any attacks until its second turn (this is a popular rule at tournaments).
3) Play with only the original eight industrial complexes; no new ones can be built. (Some players feel this rule hurts Japan more than any of the Allies, but it's really a question of playing style.)
Where can I find more Axis & Allies resources online?
A good place to start is our own Axis & Allies forum on this site.
Type "Axis & Allies" or "Axis and Allies" (including the quote marks) into any search engine and it should come back with a wealth of sites.
Download the rules to Axis & Allies.