Axis & Allies: World War I 1914
Axis & Allies: World War I 1914 is a 2013 war and strategy board game created by Larry Harris and published by Avalon Hill. Unlike the other games in the Axis & Allies series, it focuses on World War I, specifically the European, African, and Near East theaters.
Despite its basis on real-world events, it is not intended to be an accurate simulation of history. Instead, it is designed for balanced and stream-lined gameplay.
The game is designed for 2-8 (7 is used when playing with the Bolshevik revolution rule) players, representing the nations of the German Empire, Austria Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, France, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Italy, and the United States of America. The first three represent the Central Powers and the latter 5 represent the Allied Powers. These countries compete with units for territories producing IPC's (Industrial Production Credits).
Victory conditions are similar for both sides. For the Allies, if they capture the German capital of Berlin and one other Central Powers capital, they win the game. For the Central Powers, if they capture two allied capitals, one of which is the British capital of London or the French capital of Paris, they are the victors.
A Typical Turn
- Repair damaged battleships in your ports and purchase new units using your IPC's. These units will be placed in a later stage.
- Conduct movements. This involves moving your units into another space, deciding later actions.
- Conduct combat. This involves rolling various dice, representing the fighting between the units, and removing eliminated pieces from the board. For each attacking unit, 1 die is rolled, and if it reaches a certain number or less, 1 enemy unit is removed from the board. Unlike in other Axis & Allies games, combat only involves one volley of attacks.
- Place new units purchased in stage 1 in your country's capital (or in India for the British player).
- Collect income, based on the number and value of the territories you control.
Each player may purchase, control, and move the following units. All units move 1 space every turn during the Conduct Movements stage, except fighters, battleships, submarines, and transports, which can move 2 spaces, and cruisers, which can move 3.
These units can capture territory and form the primary constituent of any country's army.
Infantry are, although the cheapest unit (costing 3 IPC's) considerably weaker than the others. They hit on a 2 or less while attacking and hit on a 3 or less while attacking with artillery support or defending. 1 infantry can be upgraded to a 3 or less if accompanied by 1 artillery. All army groups must contain at least 1 infantry unit.
Artillery are stronger than infantry but cost 4 IPC's, and normally hit on a 3 or less while attacking and defending. Each artillery can upgrade 1 infantry to hitting on a 3 or less. If one side in a battle has air superiority, all its artilleries hit on a 4 or less.
Tanks have all the properties of infantries but, on attack, for each tank, one less attacking piece is removed at the conclusion of combat. They cost 6 IPC's each.
Before the beginning of combat, the fighters attack each other, with each hitting on a 2 or less. Volleys are continued until all the fighters of one side has been eliminated. Then the side with fighters remaining gains air superiority. Fighters can then participate in ground combat in the same way as other ground troops. They cost 6 IPC's.
These units cannot capture territory but can prove vital in the war. All of them, except the submarine, cannot move through hostile sea zones without stopping. Battles between sea units involve continuous volleys until one side is completely out of forces, or one side surrenders.
Transports cannot attack or defend, but can carry 2 land units or fighters each across the ocean. They can pick up and drop off units onto land without using a move. Only 2 units may be picked up/dropped off per turn. If only transports are left defending, the battle is instantly concluded in favor of the opposing side and the transports are removed. They cost 6 IPC's each.
Submarines hit on a 2 or less for both attack and defense. Whenever a submarine would have to roll a combat die, it can choose to submerge. This means it will be out of battle next round but can still receive hits from this round. They also cost 6 IPC's per unit.
Cruisers cost 9 IPC's each, but can move 3 spaces a turn and hit on attack and defense with a 3 or less.
Battleships are the strongest sea units, attacking and defending on a 4 or less. They also are the only piece to take 2 hits to destroy. If it suffers 1 hit, it is damaged and can be repaired for free in stage 1 of the next turn, if it is in one of your ports. If battleships are accompanying transports that are unloading troops onto land, battleships can engage in offshore bombardment and 1 battleship can attack for each transport unloading.
The game has many features which make it true to history, but in order for it to be a playable game, some changes had to be made.
In the game, Russia starts out with 36 infantries and 13 artilleries after setup to represent the inferiority of its soldiers, Germany has 63 infantries and 23 artilleries, and Austria-Hungary begins with 48 infantries and 12 artilleries. This would indicate that both Germany and Austria-Hungary had vastly more forces. However, in actuality, in 1914, Russia had 5,971,000 soldiers, Germany had 4,500,000, and Austria-Hungary had 3,000,000. In the game, if the respective sides were allocated proportional numbers of soldiers as to real life, Russia would be at an advantage against the Central Powers and ruin the balance of the game for the two sides. The game had to be playable and fun, and as a result was made to be more balanced that the situation was in history.
Many history-accurate mechanics include the primary use of fighters to first eliminate all other fighters, then improve the lethality of artilleries. This is historical, because in actuality, the main purpose of being the last side left with fighters was so the artillery operators could know where they needed to aim. In addition, the feature that only 1 volley of attacks occurs in each round simulates well the common practice of digging into trenches and basically preventing any gain in territory by the opposing side. It is also accurate that tanks at the time were no better at killing enemy soldiers than infantry, but they could protect the advancing infantry from enemy fire.
The Political Situation
One innovation of this game is preventing the United States from entering the war until the beginning of Round 4, unless it has been attacked, in which case it would also join. This is in fact fairly accurate, due to the isolationism of the US during the beginning of the war. Another historically accurate rule is that if a certain set of conditions are met, the Russian Revolution can occur, causing an armistice with the Central Powers, as it did in history. However, one aspect not included is that in the game, Italy is in the war at the very beginning, but in reality, the Kingdom of Italy was not actually on the Allies' side until 1915, and mostly neutral until then. In addition Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, and Albania are Combatants at the start of the game when they were actually neutrals in 1914.
- "Axis & Allies WWI 1914". www.wizards.com. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
- Harris, Larry. "Axis & Allies: World War I - A Compendium of Tactics and Principal Operations" (PDF). www.wizards.com. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- "Armies 1914". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- "Aircraft and World War One - History Learning Site". History Learning Site. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- Pederson, Brian (2007). What Kept the Tank from Being the Decisive Weapon of World War One?. Missoula, Montana: University of Montana.
- "HISTORY OF ITALY". www.historyworld.net. Retrieved 2015-11-05.