In Axis and Allies, the Axis, unlike the Allies, do not have to play for the total destruction of the other side. If at any time, they control territories representing 84 industrial production certificates (IPCs), they win. This compares with a total of 147 IPCs.

As a practical matter, the Axis will have overcome their initial disadvantage if they even have as many as 74 IPCs (barely more than half), unless the Allies have compensation in more technology advances (e.g. heavy bombers). This correlates with my own sense that the Axis would have won World War II if at any time they had gained half or more of the world's industrial capacity (they actually got one quarter), barring an Allied tech breakthrough (like the atomic bomb).

I am asking the following questions because I have never experienced the situations myself. Has anyone either played or watched a game in which the Axis got the preponderance of IPCs (74-83) and the Allies came back to win? (This would tend to negate the EV scenario.) If so, was it for "tech" or other reasons? Conversely, has anyone ever seen the Axis fall (for a whole turn) below their initial 57 IPCs and come back to win with such an economic disadvantage?

4 Answers 4


The game becomes very interesting when the Axis achieves its goal of 84, only to lose France, or possibly some African territory. They then take it back the next round, but only at the cost of expansion to other territories, and perhaps lose a couple of IPC's in the process. I have witnessed this on a few occasions! It mainly occurred because the Allies (usually U.S.) had just built up a large invasion force, and it would land on the same turn that the Axis got to 84. Then Germany would have to fight backwards, and the next turn another invasion (U.K. this time) would hit France. After that, it was typical for the German player to give up.

I have never seen the Axis fall below pre-war economic levels and then comeback to win the game. Every time that has happened, we would play one more round, but it goes from bad to worse for the Axis, and mostly Germany.

If they had to take London or Washington, the Allies can simply stockpile in those locations, and Germany and Japan will be frustrated ad infinitum. With the economic option, the Allies must get aggressive at some point and attack the Axis holdings.

This mimics the war in a fairly realistic sense, and I think that, for an early WWII game, A&A did well at capturing the urgency for the Allied powers.

  • Interesting. At the beginning, the Axis have larger armies to compensate for lesser industrial capacity. In this version, the Americans have a larger army, "ready to land," (plus the advantage of the last move), to compensate for the lower industrial capacity. Butting barring such temporary advantages, superior "industrial capacity" usually wins in the long run.
    – Tom Au
    Jan 15, 2014 at 23:13

I have seen balanced games from an economical perspective where even though the Axis could have a slight edge they still lost because Allies were successful in splitting up the Axis forces through Karelia. I think I have won games as Axis where my Japan empire was below 57 NPL and yet with Heavy bombers and possibly long-range or Industrial technology I was able to eventually dominate the Allies. Of course I think the games weren't mistake free so... By the way whenever possible I scrap the economic victory condition rule for the Axis.


I don't think being economically dominant as axis necessarily means you will win. In my current game (this is the revised version though), I have conquered Africa, New Zeeland, Australia, China and some other areas, meaning I control about 55% of all income. On the other hand, since the allies have a dominant atlantic fleet that killed my mediteranian transports, Africa will probably fall and I'm not sure I will take out the Soviet union in time.

At the same time, Japan is strong, dominating the pacific but does not have a large army in Asia yet, India has not fallen for example.

I think games like that, where both sides gain unusual advantages are the most fun.


84 doesn't necessarily mean completely dominant. It can also mean overstretched. I've played games where the Axis was getting pressured by an inevitable European invasion and just managed to claim 84 points with some unsustainable Pacific overreach by the Japanese (grabbing Alaska or Panama, when the US would slam those forces within 2 turns). Another unsustainable scenario is the Axis having a fingernail hold on Africa, and just barely holding it with a few remaining infantry in the face of inevitable Allied onslaught. And with no way of adding German troops to Africa. So, my answer is that 84 can be very tenuous. But given that most games result in an Allied shrinkage of Germany at some point, the 84 points gives the Axis player a chance at winning the game, even if they most likely will lose the war due to the many fronts they have to defend.

  • Welcome to the site. +1 for a good commentary. But there are 147 IPCs in the game, so the Axis will win if they can take and hold 74, not 84. Granted, the last few 84 may be fluff or "overstretch," but the presumption is that the Allies won't be able to get them back down below the core 74.
    – Tom Au
    Jun 27, 2016 at 16:26
  • I'm in a game right now where I got 79 (I'm now down to 75), but am in a precarious German position. The Japanese control all of Russia up to Russia itself, and all of south Asia (India). But the Germans (by overextending in Africa) have the Russians in Eastern Europe and will lose Southern Europe next turn. So, it is a matter of whether the Japanese can divert enough Russian forces fast enough by forcing a defense of Russia before the Russian wall in Eastern Europe beats down Germany. Russia would be dead in the east but for some fast-acting British fighters. The outcome is still uncertain.
    – Dogberry
    Jun 27, 2016 at 16:37

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