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Tabletop Game / Axis And Allies

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Axis & Allies is a tabletop wargame designed in 1981 by Larry Harris and published by Nova Entertainment. A second edition, essentially identical to the first (and now titled Axis & Allies Classic) was published in 1984 by Milton Bradley, and was a smash hit. In 2003, a third edition was published by Avalon Hill, who have also published a number of variants, such as a version based on the First World War. Over the years, Axis & Allies has enjoyed immense popularity, with over 2 million copies printed.

The game has spawned an unofficial digital version known as Triple A: Axis And Allies.


Playable factions include:


This game provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Some editions of the game manual feature a timeline of World War II.
  • Alternate History – Nazi Victory: The game allows up to five players to reenact World War II from 1942 onwards when the United States joins the fray. Sufficiently adept (and lucky) players can end the war more favorably for Nazi Germany and their allies. It's incredibly rare for the Axis to Take Over the World however, both because of the logistical problems with any attempted invasion of the American heartland, and because by that point, the USSR and UK have usually been knocked out of the war already by losing their capitals, which is its own win condition.
  • America Won World War II - To an extent. There is an American faction, but the Axis most certainly is capable of defeating them. Often enough, this is invoked as a strategy by Allied players, who amass a huge invasion force in the US while using the UK and USSR to stall the Axis.
  • Anti-Air - Features in some versions of the game.
  • Armchair Military - Quite literally.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The standard game supposedly begins in the spring of 1942, but German and Japanese starting forces don't correspond to how they historically were. This is to allow game balance, giving both sides an equal chance to win.
    • A natural consequence of the game's title with the WW1 spinoff, since the opposing sides were the Central Powers and the Triple Entente. (Although the latter was typically referred to as "the Allies" in English until, historians generally favour the more accurate "Entente".)
  • Attack! Attack! Attack! - Players can use this tactic, albeit not to great affect. (Usually)
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: What commonly happens to players who try this tactic.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Battleships, in early versions of the game. They cost a lot (to the tune of a single one demanding the Soviets entire economy to produce) and were fairly easy to destroy. Once they got their second hit point and their ability to support naval assaults, though...
    • Invading the US can definitely be done, but doing so is a logistical nightmare, requires Axis dominance of both Oceans and getting into such a position means the UK and USSR have already been steamrolled.
  • Boring, but Practical: Russia can be incredibly unfun to play as, with such a bad economy and such a wide stretch of land to cover as Germany pushes east. And yet the Allies team often lives and dies by Russia, the anvil to the United States' hammer.
  • Color-Coded Armies - All pieces are made of a solid colour plastic.
  • Cool Plane - Multiple. All armies have fighters and bombers. Some versions feature tactical bombers.
    • Interestingly enough, the Germans have a Stuka dive bomber as their fighter model, supposedly because it is so iconic.
  • Crew of One - Sometimes in play. One player can control an entire side in the war, but the game supports as many players as armies.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys - In nearly all editions of the game, France begins under the control of the German forces.
  • Defenseless Transports: troop transports have no attack power whatsoever and a pitiful 1 defense.
  • Earth Is a Battlefield - Quite literally. Territories can be controlled on all continents, with the obvious exception of Antarctica. Especially prevalent in the global versions of the game. (Read: Most of them)
  • Escape Battle Technique: The submarine's special power.
  • Invaded States of America - As the Axis, a player can occupy the United States.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Exactly this with players who just decide to attack without any further plans.
  • Mighty Glacier: The US has the largest ICP at the start of the game, and is hard to invade, at the same time, any force they send takes its time getting to the enemy.
  • Multinational Team - The Axis and the Allies, both made up of multiple nations.
  • Neutral No Longer - All versions had neutral nations that could be occupied, either by paying some IC cost or fighting the local armies. Later versions made some of these neutral nations pro-Axis (such as Bulgaria or Finland) or pro-Allies (such as Brazil or Yugoslavia), meaning rather than having to fight them during the combat phase to take control a country of the correct side could simply move a unit into that space during its non-combat phase, and the territory (along with its industrial production) and all the local units would fall under its control. If a true neutral (those that don't lean either way at the start, i.e., Spain or Turkey) is attacked, all true neutrals on the board would immediately become pro-whatever-side-didn't-attack (for example, if Italy attacked Switzerland, all true neutrals would become pro-Allies, so Britain could just move a unit into Spain to take control of its IP and 6 infantry there).
  • No Swastikas - The games have the balkenkreuz as the emblem for the German forces. It's not just the Germans either - none of the countries are identified by their national flags.
  • Pyrrhic Victory - Throw lots of troops at an invasion, your enemies get very lucky on the dice rolls, and you take the land with one infantry left.
  • "Risk"-Style Map - There's been quite a few.
  • Tank Goodness
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines - Can occur if an enemy is able to break off one of your territories from the rest of your land.
  • Washington D.C. Invasion - Can be done by the Axis, albeit with a large navy and many, many troop transports coming across the Atlantic.
  • We Have Reserves - Pretty much a core component of the game. Lost 20 infantry units in a failed attack? It's okay, just make more and send them out.
  • You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again - If a nation loses its capital, it cannot purchase more units or really participate in the war effort to a great extent. However, if the remaining units of that nation, or one of its allies, retakes the capital, they can jump right back in and take the fight to their enemies.
  • Zerg Rush - Can be done if a player accumulates enough ICPs to build up a large enough military. Also a core aspect of many Soviet strategies, which involve as many infantry and tanks as you can possibly build being flung at the Germans.


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