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My husband, Darren, introduced me to the game Axis & Allies, and a few other games, in the first year of us going together. Axis & Allies is a strategy board game based on World War II. One person plays for the axis countries and the other person plays for the allies countries. The rules explain how to split up the countries if there are more than two players.

The game is very complex, which is what Darren loves about it. There are land units (like tanks and infantry), air units (like fighters and bombers), and water units (like carriers and submarines), and they all have their own rules for movement, attack, and defense. The game uses six-sided dice to determine if attack rolls or defense rolls are successful, which adds a bit of luck into this game of skill. The rules may take longer to learn than for simple games like Clue or Risk, but beginners can play Axis & Allies without too much trouble.

I have my favorites of the land, water, and air pieces. I love tanks, though they cost 6 money units to buy, because they move two spaces on the board and are a hit on 3 for both attack and defense. That means that they hit when I roll the dice and get a 3, 2, or 1; they miss when I roll a 4, 5, or 6. Battleships are great (20 money units to buy!) because they can take two hits before being destroyed, and destroyers are good because they can bypass the special powers of the submarines. Bombers (12 money units) are great for attacking because they attack on a 4, hitting on a 4 or less, but they are bad when defending because then they only hit on 1s. The variety of pieces and rules makes for a game of complexity and depth. Like chess, a person can improve greatly over time and work out strategies to do better each game.

There are many versions of this game, and Darren has most of them. Europe, Pacific, global (which is both Europe and Pacific combined), 1940, 1941, 1942, Guadalcanal, and one set in WWI. The axis countries are Germany, Italy, and Japan. The allies countries are Great Britain, Russia, France, United States, Australia with New Zealand, and China. The basic rules are the same for each edition, but there are a few changes that keep the games fresh for experienced players.

I like the game a lot, but after ten years of playing it with Darren, I had gotten tired of it. For a few years we rarely played it. Then this year we started playing it a different way and it has worked very well for me. We play only one round in a day, leave the board set up, and play the next round another day. By the time I get tired or it is hard for me to keep focused, the round is over. This solution wouldn’t work for everyone, but it works great for us. We played through a Europe game twice in the last six months, and are about to start a Pacific game. I miss having the dining room table available, but that is the main downside and I can live with it. Playing two games so close together this year, I noticed my strategy plans and skills getting better. Darren helped me a ton during the first game, and not as much in the second. I am looking forward to seeing how much better I do in this upcoming game.

Darren likes playing with me, but he also misses playing with other people, with different skill levels. He used to have a couple of friends who would play, but for one reason or another they haven’t been around for a while. If any of you are interested or know anyone who would be interested in playing Axis & Allies with Darren, let me know in the comments and I will get back to you to make arrangements.

Joe should have a new post up before the weekend, probably tomorrow. I will close as he does: Until next time, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

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