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I used to play Axis & Allies all the time when I was younger. I recently purchased the Axis & Allies Revised Edition, and was floored by all the added complexity/new units/new rules/map changes. It was definitely a whole pile of fun, but I notice now that there are many other versions of Axis & Allies available as well. Are the "new" rules the same across all the "new" versions? Does each version have its own rules? Are the differences in the rules relatively minor, or do I need to keep track of six different sets of infantry rules for six different games?

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I was helping some friend with one of the new versions, and it was way different. No research rules for starters. It would be nice if someone had a definite guide on the differences. – Lance Roberts Jan 18 '11 at 20:37
Looks like there are quite a few differences. I'm not sure how to convert the info to a readable form for this site, especially as I'm not too familiar with A&A, but the Wikipedia page for the game appears to have significant detail. – Pat Ludwig Jan 18 '11 at 21:20
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm not sure the best way to answer this question, but I'm going to propose a running list starting with A&A 2nd edition as the baseline and then listing each progressive revision below it with all the changes from the previous version--just like software release notes.

Since I don't own all the versions I'm making this answer a community wiki. Please add to the list if you see something missing. I'll start us off with the easy stuff.

3rd edition changes

  • 2-hit battleships
  • submarines may submerge to escape counter attack
  • aircraft may retreat from amphibious assault

A&A Revised

  • new map
  • new unit: artillery
  • new unit: destroyer
  • cost of fighters reduced from 12 IPCs to 10
  • transports may carry 1 armor + 1 infantry
  • armor attack and defend on a 3+
  • adding victory cities as a replacement for economic victory
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I own Axis and Allies 1984 original, the 2004 and 2009 revised editions, as well as the new Europe and Pacific games.

The new rules, new units, new everything make the game so much more interesting.

For example, in Europe and Pacific, there are "Harbors" and "Air Bases." These allow units that move from them to move one extra space. Let's say a fighter is in Hawaii. Fighters have a move of 4. If it leaves from an area with an "Air Base" however, its mobility is upped to 5. The same is true for bombers (and the new tactical bomber). These bases add one movement to any unit. Harbors allow all ships leaving the harbor to move at a 3.

If you want more info on these versions, please comment back.

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