Avalon Hill has announced a new revision of good ol’ A&A to hit in March. It’s billed as the first major revision in 20 years, although splitting the thing into two parts seems pretty friggin’ major to me. There’s no word in either the press release (included below) or the web site on whether the Europe and Pacific versions of the game have a future. Announced changes include a reduced-size box, presumably along the lines of the new, svelte Risk 2210 form factor, and new territories on the board(!!). [Update: some clarifications are in the comments.]
Press release copy from Avalon Hill/Wizards of the Coast follows.
First Major Revision in Twenty Years of AXIS & ALLIES®!
November 7, 2003 (RENTON, Wash.) — For the first time in over two decades, players of the classic World War II military strategy game AXIS & ALLIES® will be able to experience a revised edition of their favorite game. Early next year, Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), will release a new version of Axis & Allies, created under the direction of Larry Harris, the game’s original designer. The revised Axis & Allies, scheduled for release in March 2004, will feature more detailed game pieces, a beautifully charted, full-color world map and updated rules that promise to make play more exciting than ever.
The redesigned edition of Axis & Allies emphasizes the game’s dedication to historical detail, including the revamping of play pieces to reflect real-life military vehicles. Now German tanks are shaped like Panther tanks, while the U.S. and the U.K. tanks resemble Sherman tanks. Changes to the fighter planes include transforming the U.K. fighters into Spitfires, the U.S. fighters into P-38 Lightnings, and the German fighters into Ju-87 Stukas.
While retaining Axis & Allies’ historical flavor and complex strategy, updates to the game’s rules — such as new guidelines for weapons development research — help streamline and improve game balance. Other specific additions to the game include new sea zone configurations and even new territories. The box size has been reduced by half, making the game much easier to stock, and easier than ever to merchandise.
First produced in the early 1980s by Milton Bradley, an affiliate of Wizards of the Coast, Axis & Allies is a classic game of war, economics, and strategy. Victory goes not only to the team that conquers its opponents on the field of battle, but also to the individual player who seizes the most enemy territory. The game is set in spring 1942, as five world powers struggle for supremacy: Germany and Japan are aligned against England, the Soviet Union, and the USA. Players control the military and economic destiny of one of these countries in the titanic struggle that will decide the fate of the world.
Axis & Allies is part of Wizards of the Coast’s Avalon Hill® line of games, which includes Axis & Allies Europe, Axis & Allies Pacific, Risk, Diplomacy and many others.
Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering®, among many other trading card games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of roleplaying games, such as Dungeons & Dragons®, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at wizards.com
Axis & Allies, Axis & Allies Europe, Axis & Allies Pacific, Risk, Diplomacy and Avalon Hill are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. Used with permission. Axis & Allies is manufactured and distributed by Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast. © 2003 Wizards.
Europe and Pacific are new & separate games from the original A&A. All three are still in print and each provides different types of gameplay. I don’t have much doubt Europe & Pacific will stick around, as a result, though if they’re bright they’ll rebrand the original A&A to avoid exactly your confusion.
I wonder how many others in the hobby have been under the same impression I have for all this time. Most retailers I’ve visited lately in the Bay Area don’t even stock plain A&A, but have one or both of Europe/Pacific on prominent display.
I thought the same thing too! Go Hasbro marketing…
You know, I didn’t catch it until now, but it says in that PR that Milton Bradley is an “affiliate” of WotC. I guess that doesn’t really mean “subsidiary,” but it might explain why none of those cool stealth gamer’s games like Epic Duels and BattleBall have had Parker Brothers logos on them.
“First produced in the early 1980s by Milton Bradley”
They seem to have forgotten this game was originally published by NOVA Games a couple of years before Milton Bradley purchased the game from them and republished it.
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