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How Axis & Allies Works


How to Play Axis & Allies: Combat Tactics
The Axis & Allies game box contains all the plastic miniatures needed, plus the board, dice, rulebook and various counters and charts used to track IPCs and combat.
The Axis & Allies game box contains all the plastic miniatures needed, plus the board, dice, rulebook and various counters and charts used to track IPCs and combat.
Courtesy Wizards of the Coast/Avalon Hill

Players finally start to plan combat moves in the game's third phase. Units can move up to their movement value (tanks move two, infantry one, while aircraft have longer ranges). When a unit enters a territory controlled by an enemy nation, movement stops for that unit. Multiple units can be moved into a single space, grouping them together for a large attack.

Once all the movements resulting in combat are complete, players identify which battles are taking place and resolve them one at a time. This is the combat phase of the game. The attacker rolls a die for each attacking unit, while the defender does the same for each defending unit. Each unit type has an attack number, and a hit is scored if that unit rolls the attack number or less (it's important to keep track of which die goes with which unit -- typically all the dice for units of one type are rolled together, then the next type). Once all the hits are scored, each side chooses and removes a unit for each hit scored against them, obviously choosing the most inexpensive units first.

The fifth phase is non-combat movement. Units that haven't moved yet this turn can move, but they can't move into enemy territories. You basically get to rearrange your units within your own territories. Units can move into territories controlled by allies, so you can set up joint defensive positions.

Players deploy new units in Phase 6. This is when the units that purchased in Phase 2 are placed on the board. They have to be placed on a territory with an existing Industrial Complex, which often means your units are far away from the front where you really need them.

Finally, players collect their income. Each territory is worth a certain number if IPCs. Add up the IPC value of all your territories and collect that amount from the bank.

Play continues until a nation controls a predetermined number of victory cities. The exact number depends on the version and the desired game length (for shorter games, fewer cities must be controlled to end the game).

Now you know the basic rules, but Axis & Allies can be a difficult game to master. In the next section we'll give you some tips that will help ensure your side achieves world domination.